Calligraphy and Ikebana in Tokyo

Creme de la creme, a beautiful event space in the Shibuya area of Tokyo, is hosting an exhibition of Japanese calligraphy artist Maaya Sho. Jinguryugu is a mix of Sho’s work, ranging from large-scale pieces to designs for sake bottles, fans, and T-shirts.

Sho’s representations of tigers and bamboo hang on creme de la creme’s stunning poured-concrete and exposed-brick walls, some on stark white paper, some on plastic, and some mounted on traditional Japanese scrolls. Sprinkled throughout are grand flower arrangements by Maki Kawamura.

I attended the event on Tuesday and had the opportunity to speak with Sho, who at one point lived in NYC’s East Village for eight months, and Kawamura. Sho is quite engaging with a sharp sense of humor and a good command of English. Kawamura, who speaks only Japanese, described how some of her ikebana works took two days to create.

The show runs through Sunday, April 8. If you’re in Tokyo, I encourage you to see it.

calligraphy, ikebana, tokyo, Maaya Sho, Maki Kawamura
Maaya Sho
calligraphy, ikebana, tokyo, Maaya Sho, Maki Kawamura
Sho used a plastic material rather than paper for some works
calligraphy, ikebana, tokyo, Maaya Sho, Maki Kawamura
Maki Kawamura's ikebana between Sho's calligraphy
calligraphy, ikebana, tokyo, Maaya Sho, Maki Kawamura
The works of Sho fit in beautifully in creme de la creme's space
calligraphy, ikebana, tokyo, Maaya Sho, Maki Kawamura
Sho's hanging scroll flanked by Kawamura's arrangements
calligraphy, ikebana, tokyo, Maaya Sho, Maki Kawamura
Dramatic combo
calligraphy, ikebana, tokyo, Maaya Sho, Maki Kawamura
Sho's scroll enhances the architecture of creme de la creme
calligraphy, ikebana, tokyo, Maaya Sho, Maki Kawamura
Sho's work appears on traditional formats as well as T-shirts and fans
calligraphy, ikebana, tokyo, Maaya Sho, Maki Kawamura
The stunning space of creme de la creme is perfect for Sho's and Kawamura's art
calligraphy, ikebana, tokyo, Maaya Sho, Maki Kawamura
Sho (in glasses) chats with visitors
calligraphy, ikebana, tokyo, Maaya Sho, Maki Kawamura
From left: ikebana artist Maki Kawamura, shochu expert Jesse Falowitz, yours truly, calligrapher Maaya Sho

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