Bryan Mulvihill – Sacred Calligraphy Workshop: Traditions, History and Techniques

This workshop by Bryan Mulvihill who has for over 50 years practiced calligraphic arts, having studied under many `Living Treasure’ masters from China, Japan, Korea, Middle East, and the 1950’s Beat Generation fathers; Brion Gysin, Allen Ginsberg, and William Burrows. Bryan has `permutated’ calligraphic techniques into modern art as a ‘Dao: Way’ to express Sacred lineages of `Being in the Present’ Awareness Practice.

This three-thousand-year-old art form, which promulgated in Ancient China and spread throughout most parts of East Asia, has been increasingly appreciated around the World. The calligraphy characters are unique in the creative process, quite different from any other form of art in that it follows a predetermined stroke order.

Bryan will give an illustrated introduction to various styles, periods and traditions of Sacred Calligraphy throughout its long history. With hands-on practice exploring techniques for handling the Chinese/Japanese brush, inks, and handmade papers. It will be a continuation of the last two years of workshops offering developmental stages in the techniques of the ‘Way of the Brush.’ The essence of Chinese/Japanese calligraphy is learning the techniques of the brush, which differ greatly from the `western’ brush traditions. Once mastered great subtly of expression in any language is possible.

This workshop is for both beginners and long-time calligraphy practitioners. Basic materials brush, ink, and paper will be provided at the coast but do feel free to bring along any brush, ink or papers you might have, to learn its proper handling, care, and specific techniques.

Calligraphy is one of the most direct art forms capable of exploring and expressing the Art of Being in the Moment. Calligraphy has for centuries been developed as a Meditation in Action technique and practice in the Far East. It is practiced worldwide as a method to focus the mind, eye, hand continuum and is used extensively as a creative `Meditation in Action’.

The workshop will focus on the Calligraphers Four Treasures: BRUSH, INK, INKSTONE, PAPER. These are the essential equipment required on the table in a calligrapher scholar’s study. They are always held in deep respect and have been called the Four Treasures of the Abodes of Culture. Each is dependent on all the others. Each has a long history of development amounting to pedigrees. Each is also endowed with a symbolic significance that has enveloped it in elaborate layers of meaning.

In this short workshop, we will concentrate on the Brush, ‘pi,’ in Chinese. The Chinese calligrapher’s brush is quite different from the western painters’ brush, in both shape, handling and effects it is capable of making. This workshop will focus on how to handle this unique brush to get the maximum range and affect in mark-making.
Bryan is a contemporary artist using the Oriental traditions of Ink-brush painting in modern semi-abstract ways while keeping deep respect for the long tradition of ‘Way of the Brush’, in which the goal is to capture the `Chi’ or life force expressed through the movement of the `way of the brush’. He will bring a few examples of his current works as well as a selection of brushes used to create them.

The last session of the workshop will focus on the `Cut-Up’ methods of Brion Gysin and William Burroughs. Bryan uses `cut-up’ and `permutations’ of Chan/Zen Buddhist `koan’ or enlightened phrases, written in the four cardinal directions, to create a mandala that can be read from all directions. Bryan has exhibited these `calligraffiti’ works around the world, most recently in Canada, China, Denmark, France, India, Japan, Norway, Portugal, and UK.


Mar 01 - 03 2020


All Day


Deer Park Institute, Bir
Deer Park Institute