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

This workshop lead 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.

Bryan will give an illustrated introduction to various traditions of Sacred Calligraphy throughout Art History in the Opening Friday night first session. Followed by a two day hands on workshop exploring techniques for handling the Chinese/Japanese brush, inks and handmade papers. It will be a continuation of last years workshop, however new students are most welcome. The essence of calligraphy with a Chinese/Japanese brush is learning the techniques of its use, which differ greatly from the `western’ brush traditions. Once mastered great subtlety 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 coast but do feel free to bring along any brush ink or papers you might have to learn its proper handling, care and preservation.

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 practices world wide 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 calliraphery 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 the others, and all are highly prized. Each has a long history of development amounting to a pedigree. 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. It has a long history, the many varieties of materials used to make the calligraphy/painting brush and the various affects they produce when used to apply ink to paper. The Chinese calligraphers brush is quite different from the western painters brush, in both shape, handling and affects it is capable of making. This workshop will focus on how to handle this unique brush to get the maxium

I will bring a selection of calligraphy brushes and some samples of the various effects achieved by each when using them to write or paint with ink on paper.”

Bryan Mulvihill is a long time student of ink/brush painting and has studied with many great masters including Kataoka Sensie, Master Llyod Lee, Master Bau-Xi Huang, and Roshi Shinzan Miyamae.

Bryan is a contemporary artist using the Oriental traditions of Ink-brush painting in modern semi-abstract ways while keeping a 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 and UK.

In traditional Indian Buddhist visual aesthetic theory the word for `art’ is not a noun, as in the object, but instead a verb, where the process of viewing a work creates the `art’ as experience in the person beholding the work. These works attempt to engage the beholders in the creative process of `re-creating’ the basic written forms and gestured activity, giving experiential access to the `chi; life force; `spirit of the moment’. The work takes form with each viewing, perpetually changing and re-forming depending on the ambient light, attitude and mood of the viewer. The works are ever shifting and transforming, like a shadow. These works pay homage both to a life long association with Buddhist iconography, the Chi, vital life force, so sought after in the ink-brush cultures of the Far-East.

In the ‘cut-up’ methods of Brion Gysin, the original information or words are `permutated’ by writing them in layers from the four directions to constantly re-constructed the image allowing the viewer to give it a magical force by engaging the viewer in the process of creative energy. Bryan’s `calligraphitie’ works pay homage to the layered cut-ups of Brion Gysin.

Bryan has exhibited photography, calligraphy, ink brush painting, conceptual art, live at, mail art and multimedia works on an ongoing basis since 1969 in both solo and group shows Internationally both under, bryan muvlihill and his artist name de plum `trolley bus’.

bryan mulvihill
Teahouse 222
275 Alexander St
Vancouver V6A 1C2
mobile 6043527508


Mar 09 - 11 2018


All Day




Deer Park Institute, Bir
Deer Park Institute