Ai Suzuki (Calligrapher)
Since Ai Suzuki was young, she’s loved to daydream. Whenever she saw a beautiful sky or flower or bird or little bug, she made space for it in her imagination and made up a simple story about it to amuse herself. She also enjoyed recalling the strange landscapes she encountered in her dreams. Things are no different for her today. Her creative work, which mainly involves stylized use of the calligraphy brush, is her way of expressing the shapeless images of her imagination and the thoughts and feelings we can’t see. In 2003 she began her career as a freelance calligrapher, and her first gig was the logo for the retail outlet of a sake manufacturer. She wound up securing a private show in a gallery connected with the store, and in 2004 began to first produce more artistic creations, which she continues to produce with a strong momentum. She draws influence from things like the beauty of nature, the way a song echoes in our hearts, and the grace of an athlete striding across the field. Excluding her commissioned pieces, all of her work is created for purely personal reasons, but in her mind there’s nothing better than if a person sees one of her pieces at a show and can’t help feeling healed, or humored, or energized. Her main tools are a brush (of animal hair), ink (soot and isinglass), an inkstone (made of rock), and paper (made from mulberry and other plants). All these materials are natural, meaning their production can’t be totally influenced by humans. Ai values this aspect of her materials and tries to follow their natural rhythms. She follows other natural rhythms in her schedule, working only in the two weeks between the new moon and the full moon. She earnestly believes that script is a vehicle for our thoughts, and so she only completes her projects on days when she feels a perfect balance between body and soul.