Calligraphy possesses various artistic elements such as designability of a letterform, expressivity of a word, spontaneity of a line, and spirituality expressed by space and pause. In recent years, calligraphy has developed from a traditional style of making beautiful letters to an expression of creative artistic styles. The range of calligraphy has widened. Behind this broadened spectrum of expression are history of books and inscriptions, close relationship with typography, wide selection of media including tools and materials, and influences from lettering cultures other than those of alphabets. Consequently, the widened range has led to a recent birth of an encompassing framework “letter arts” existing outside of “calligraphy”. The term “letter arts” is gradually penetrating across Europe and the United States. We have given a clear definition to the term as an art of letters that encompass a broad range of not only handwritten calligraphy and scripts, but also other genres such as typography and letter cutting.
Visitors to “Japan・Belgium Letter Arts Exhibition” will be introduced to a wide variety of letter expressions that exist in the range of letter arts from Belgium and Japan. This is the first exhibition to be held in Japan that exhibits works from genres considered as different but which share the same axis of letter arts. In addition, the exhibition will introduce calligraphy from Belgium, which has seen a unique development as contemporary letter arts. It is our great pleasure to have visitors enjoy the works by artists of Japan and Belgium exhibited together.
We look forward to an establishment of letter arts into an art of letter expressions and its development and progress with experimental endeavors. Finally, we would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to all parties concerned from Belgium and other areas for their cooperation and assistance in organizing this exhibition.
Director, Japan Letter Arts Forum