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Ancient Words

The Avant/Garde Diaries portrayed Kaoru Akagawa, a globe-trotting calligraphy artist. She was born in Canada, grew up in New York, lived in Japan, and is currently based in Berlin. She is expanding the traditions and perceptions of traditional Japanese calligraphy by merging Kana Shodo with modern art. Kana is a traditional calligraphical art form, originally utilized by women who were not allowed to show their faces in public. Akagawa creates painstakingly delicate and complex forms, always aware of expressing her state of body and mind using just ink and brush. ‘When you work with ink and paper, you don’t have a second chance,’ she says. ‘Once the ink is on the paper, it stays there. It is forever, and you can never change it.’

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