Empty-Handed I Return Home
Curator: Dror Burstein
14 Jul — 20 August, 2012
The Jerusalem Artists’ House is pleased to host the Israeli-Japanese artist, Kazuo Ishii, for a solo exhibition.
The exhibition includes calligraphies in various styles, as well as ink drawings based on Japanese poetry by Basho, Ryokan and Dogen. One of the centerpieces of this exhibition is the full text of the Heart Sutra, written in traditional Chinese characters.
The title piece of the exhibition will be prepared at the opening event, and wil be hung on a wall left vacant especially.
Empty-handed I return home. Originally, the phrase was written with four Chinese characters. It can be interpreted literally: a man – perhaps a hunter or a failed merchant – returns home empty handed. But it can also be viewed as a saying about life in general, as with Job’s phrase; “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return there” (Job 1:21). Job too will return “there,” home, to his mother’s womb, naked, that is with empty hands.
And perhaps the empty hands are those of the artist. Empty in the sense that they are changing, free, unburdened. The artist returns home with empty hands in every piece of work, for every landscape he paints and every poem he writes are “home.”