A digital archive of Asian/Asian American contemporary art history

Jack, James

Other Names: 寂

Artist Website

"James Jack is an American who, as a child, had a friend who was Japanese. Later he went to Japan and studied with a master calligrapher/painter. Back in Vermont he created his own indigenous 'American' ink from Butternut. He explores the gestural, 'action painting' and ink qualities & character found in Asian calligraphy. He keeps to Hsieh Ho's six principles of art written in the 6th Century, the first is art must manifest Life Force, the life impulse of the artist/maker in the immediacy of Now. This is the other side of the coin, not an Asian American but an American Asian story. Attracted to an artistic life of contemplation and meditation, James follows in an American tradition that includes many contemporary artists, as well as the philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson, naturalist Henry David Thoreau, the Hudson River School of landscape painting, the art of the Northwest exemplified by Morris Graves and Mark Tobey, and the pottery of Bernard Leach. This can be said to be an American trend of thought for whom Nature is a friend, deeply mysterious yet intimate, without impulse to exploit, conquer or fear."--Robert Lee, Director, Asian American Arts Centre, for ARTRAIN show catalog 2008

"By using handmade walnut ink made from natural materials I become familiar with my medium of expression far before the brush touches the paper. The process of collecting, boiling, filtering, and distilling ink is meditation in action. These paintings are part of my ongoing investigation with the expressive capacities of ink and essence. The purpose of my work is to express a contemplative aesthetic vision much needed in our society today."--James Jack

Gallery of Selected Works

Artist Uploaded Images