Akiko Tanimoto (Calligrapher)
The works of Akiko Tanimoto are based on the concept of “Breath-n-Brush”–the breathing of the body drawn with solid ink on delicate Japanese paper. As a teacher of Japanese language and culture to overseas businesspeople, she realized the importance of deepening her own understanding of Japanese traditional culture. This leads her to study the art of calligraphy. Soon after, she discovered the suibokuga of Tohun Kobayashi at a bookstore, and in 2002 she began her suibokuga journey, studying under him. She also began her life-changing journey of yoga at Sun & Moon Yoga in Tokyo, and she created her own style combining suibokuga and yoga. In 2010, Leza Lowitz, the founder of Sun and Moon Yoga Studio, was about to publish a new poetry book and was looking for an artist who could provide Japanese suibokuga to accompany the poems about yoga and meditation. Akiko’s suibokuga inspired Leza to choose her to illustrate her book, Yoga Heart: Lines on the Six Perfections, which was Akiko’s debut as a book illustrator. Akiko’s first exhibition, “Breath-n-Brush,” took place in Feb. 2013 at Cafe & Galaria PARADA in Tokyo following that.Akiko’s work is very simple but powerful. The contrast of ink and blank space, and the trajectory of the brush across the page stimulate the imagination. You can feel and hear both Akiko’s breath–and you own–in her work, which consists of only ink on washi. Akiko catches the beautiful moment when breath–the life force–courses through the body, and she puts that magical, heart-opening moment on paper. That is Breath-n-Brush. Please visit Akiko’s website– Ake no Ihori （www.akenoihori.com) which means Akiko’s space/studio where she sends her message/breath out into the world.