A revered modern artist and Zen teacher offers an inspirational account of how his art has been the expression of a life of social activism.
Kazuaki Tanahashi's dramatic art, which takes traditional Asian calligraphy in strikingly modern directions, has been widely praised and exhibited throughout the world. But for Kaz, that art has always been in service of a higher good: it has been his own way of bearing witness to peace in a world overcome by war, division, and strife. Here, in his most deeply personal work yet, Kaz provides an account of how he came to be such an artist and how the work of activism continues to progress in his life. Along with thirty full-color examples of his unique art of witness, he includes accounts of his formative experiences, of the people who influences him--including Daniel Ellsberg, Gary Snyder, and Morihei Ueshiba, founder of Aikido, with whom he studied as a boy in Japan--and many of his poems related to peace. Painting Peace is an intimate self-portrait of a great modern artist-activist, and a guide for those who aspire to imitate his example.
““Is the human race condemned to destroy itself with its own weapons of mass destruction? Kazuaki Tanahashi’s persuasive answer is no, but to go from a death-driven society to a society that protects life requires re-envisioning the future so that we can learn to live peacefully in the present moment. Using stories, poems and his own calligraphy, Tanahashi’s Painting Peace contributes to that conversion.”— Jim Forest, author of The Root of War Is Fear: Thomas Merton's Advice to Peacemakers and All Is Grace: A Biography of Dorothy Day “This gorgeous book reflects a miraculous life of courage, humor, compassion, and wisdom. It is about peace, art, and a weave of remarkable relationships and endeavors that have shaped my good friend Kaz Tanahashi's life and vision.”—Joan Halifax, author of Being with Dying ”