Shin, Zen, Bi (Truth, Virtue, Beauty), by Serizawa Keisuke

  • 20c
  • Tablet, color on paper
  • H-91.5 D-8 W-94
Catalogue Entry

Serizawa Keisuke (1895‐1984) was a craftsman born in Shizuoka prefecture. Fascinated by the aesthetics of Ryukyu Island kogata stencil dying, Serizawa set out on a multi‐dimensional artistic career, developing his own unique stencil dye forms, his own decorative lettering style and many other achievements in dyestuffs, bookbinding and book illustrations. He was a member of the Mingei folk craft movement begun by Yanagi Sosetsu and others, and in 1956 he was named a Living National Treasures for his stencil‐dyed pictures. There is a Shizuoka city Keisuke Serizawa Museum located at the Toro historical site in Shizuoka prefecture.

These directly brushed characters were created for presentation on the occasion of the opening of the Shinji Shumeikai's new sanctuary and Meishusama Hall (architect, Minoru Yamasaki). The three terms Truth, Goodness and Beauty are a superb summation of knowledge, faith and the emotions. The unwavering lines of color mutually mingle to form meaningful characters, at the same time that the meaning of this set phrase seems to emerge directly from the natural forms of Serizawa's characters. They seem to be embodiments of the philosophy of Yanagi's Mingei movement's.