Until January 9, 2011
Noted Zen scholars Audrey Yoshiko Seo and Stephen L. Addiss have gathered 69 scroll paintings by Hakuin Ekaku (1685-1768) and nine by his major pupils from public and private collections in Japan and the U.S for this first American retrospective.
The koan, 'What is the sound of one hand?' was first put forth by Hakuin as an existential question.
He illustrated the koan using Hotei, a recurring figure in his work throughout his life. Hotei the bumbling, roving, everyman-monk is the happy-go-lucky God of good fortune.
A koan is a Buddhist method of meditational teaching, a nonsensical or paradoxical question for which an answer is personal; through meditation on the question spiritual illumination follows.
Hakuin's Hotei paintings demonstrate that Zen is not an unfathomable discipline restricted to a few determined monastics, but a lively force available to everyone, in every day activity.