Back To Previous Page

Painting Enlightenment: Experiencing Wisdom and Compassion through Art and Science

  • 100 Lafayette Street, Fifth Floor Shaw Center for the Arts Baton Rouge, LA 70801
  • September 2, 2016 - November 27, 2016
  • Recurring daily
  • Price: $5 for adults and youth 13+; free to students, faculty, members and children 12 and under
  • (225) 389-7200

Beginning September 2, 2016, the LSU Museum of Art presents the exhibition Painting Enlightenment, featuring works by Japanese scientist and artist Iwasaki Tsuneo (1917–2002). Iwasaki’s paintings create a contemplative journey—a meditation on the interconnectedness of the universe. Tsueneo collapses distinctions between image, text, and thought with imagery representative of both scientific phenomena and Buddhist principles. The imagery is literally formed with characters from the sacred Heart Sutra text.

Iwasaki’s work expands the practice of copying sacred texts, a form of devotion with a long history in Japan. In his creative sutra copying, Iwasaki uses traditional Chinese characters to copy the text. Instead of separating the verses into vertical blocks, he reconfigures verses into images of DNA, lightning bolts, bubbles, atoms, and ants.

Upon retiring from a career as a research biologist, Iwasaki created this artistic practice to express the relationship between science and Buddhism. Dr. Paula Arai, associate professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies at LSU, is the guest curator for the exhibition. The paintings, comments Arai, “will create a contemplative experience for viewers to reflect on their relationships with themselves, others, nature, and the cosmos.”

Painting Enlightenment will be on exhibition at the LSU Museum of Art through November 27, 2016.