@

@

Circle (Enso)

SENGAI Gibon (1750-1832)
Japan, 19th century
H.37.0 cm, W.49.4 cm
@ Sengai Gibon was a Zen priest of the late Edo period(1600-1868) who was 123rd head of the temple Shofuku-ji in the Hakata area of Fukuoka City. He is known as a painter of witty and humorous depictions of Zen subjects and common folk. In Zen, a simple circle can represent the character of Buddha, the essence of reality and other immutable phenomena. For a priest, painting such a circle is doubtless an expression of his search for the boundaries of his own enlightenment. However, this particular circle also invites laughter, since the inscription, "Eat this, then have tea," indicates the circle can be seen as simply a manju, or sweet bean cake. This work well illustrates the breadth of Sengai's artistic vision, which does not require of the viewer strict interpretation as a search either for personal enlightenment or for ultimate truth.

Fujin (Wind God)
Circle (Enso)
Jar with Decoration of Peonies and Blue Magpies
Tea Leaf Jar with Design of Mt. Yoshino
Jar with Decoration of Fish and Aquatic Plants
Amphora
Ewer with Brown and White Glaze
Dish of Nabeshima Style with Landscape Decoration
Tea Caddy of Bunrin Type, Known as "Hakata Bunrin"
Autumn Flowerbaskets
Letter to Master Shutong
Segment of a Commentary on the Diamond Sutra
Standing Nikko-bosatsu (Sunlight Bodhisattva)
Hotei, God of Fortune, Watching at Cock Fighting
Two Scenes from The Tale of Genji
The Zen Patriarchs Fengkan, Hanshan and Shide
Ceremonial Wall Hanging with "Tree of Life" Motif
Tea Bowl, Amamori Type
Circular Box with Decoration of Flower and Birds
Chest with Floral Decoration under Oxhorn