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09/18/2021 - 01/02/2022
Dayton, OH

Formless Form V: The Calligraphy of Ronald Y. Nakasone

Ronald Y. Nakasone (American, b. 1943), 無相相 (musō-sō, “Formless-form”), 2019, ink on paper, 15 ¾ x 18 ¼ in.
Courtesy of the artist. Photograph by Shih-Chieh (Jerry) Hsu.

Time & Location

September 18, 2021 – January 2, 2022
Dayton Art Institute (Dayton, OH)


The tradition of calligraphy in East Asia uses the basic materials of a brush, ink and paper to give sensuous form to formless thoughts and emotions that reach for a profound wisdom. For over forty-five years, Ronald Nakasone has investigated the potential of this artform, following in the path of avant-garde Japanese calligraphy artists of the 20th century, such as his teacher Morita Shiryū (1912–1998), who influenced American Abstract Expressionist painters like Jackson Pollock and Franz Kline. This exhibition presents newly created works by Nakasone and explores key aspects of the art of sho (calligraphy), such as the aesthetic features to appreciate and how to “read” an image. At the same time, it provides insights into aspirational thoughts from Japanese, Ryūkyū (Okinawan) and Chinese cultures, as well as Buddhist, Shintō and shamanic spiritual traditions.

Visit the Dayton Art Institute website to learn more.

This event is supported through the JFNY Grant for Arts & Culture.

Ronald Y. Nakasone (American, b. 1943), 慈無涯 (jimugai, “Compassion is boundless”), 2021, ink on paper, 10 x 18 in.
Courtesy of the artist. Photograph by Shih-Chieh (Jerry) Hsu.

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