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Kaō Ninga

Before 1340 Japan/Muromachi Period


Brief Biography-Kaō Ninga was one of the first Japanese artists to paint in the suiboku-ga or Sumi-e style (monochrome ink painting), imported from China and preferred by Zen Buddhist priest artists. The most notable Chinese painter of this style was Mu-Qi, a Buddhist priest artist active in the thirteenth century whose works were highly influential in zen ink painting by Buddhist priests. He painted bold ink paintings of animals, plants, and landscapes, i.e., dragons, tigers, monkeys, cranes, and wild geese. Japanese priests studied Buddhism in China and returned with paintings which impressed Japanese artists. Mu-Qi fell from favour in China; however, he highly influenced Japanese painters. Kaō Ninga’s images were primarily about Zen-related subjects beyond ordinary people’s understanding.


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bamboo and
a sparrow

bamboo and a sparrow



the hermit

kanzan the hermit