zenga 禅画
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
Lit. Zen 禅 (Ch: chan) painting. A modern and somewhat ambiguous term often used to indicate painting and calligraphy that, through subject, style or affiliation of the artist, demonstrates some aspect of Zen Buddhism. It is important to distinguish zenga from the historical term gazen 画禅 or painting zen, which refers to the practice of painting as a Zen activity. Zenga is usually used to denote ink paintings done by Zen priests of the Edo period that are quick and even amateurish in execution and light-hearted in tone. The primary exponents of this style are the priests Fuugai 風外 (1568-1650), Hakuin 白隠 (1685-1769), and Sengai 仙崖 (1750-1837). Zenga is also used more broadly to include much of Muromachi period ink painting and the work of Chinese chan painters of the Southern Song and Yuan dynasties who achieved great fame in Japan.


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