It is a remarkable sight to see artist Toko Shinoda in her studio, wielding her calligraphy brush, one out of hundreds surrounding her, with nothing short of indefatigable self-assuredness. And even more remarkable is that Shinoda is on the verge of turning 104 years old. A collection of Shinoda’s works, including a range of lithographs and newly created sumi paintings, is currently on exhibition at the Conrad Hotel in Tokyo’s Minato Ward. The pieces feature elements for which Shinoda is famous — bold strokes balanced by delicate lines of abstract calligraphy. A shocking swipe of vermillion ink provides the counterpoint to shades of black, capturing the intensity that courses through her. Despite familiar elements, the paintings reflect new inspirations and Shimoda’s continued indomitable creative energy since turning 100. Norman Tolman, curator of the exhibition and longtime friend of Shinoda says one doesn’t expect an artist who is older than 100 to create in new directions, but she continues to blaze trails, guided by her brush to create beautiful pieces. With exceptional powers of committing inspiration to paper in vivid forms, Shinoda stays true to her own vision. “I paint what I want; the rest is for the critics,” she said. For sales information on the collection, inquiries can be made at the Tolman Gallery.
Centenarian calligrapher continues innovation