The centuries-old East Asian art of sumi-e, or black ink painting, is more than a creative practice. Traditionally it embodies Chinese and Japanese philosophies, with each artwork intended to capture not just the physical appearance but also the essence of the subject at hand. The brushwork is accordingly free-form and highly expressive, requiring papers that can absorb ink quickly. The best papers are fine textured and feather light, many of them being xuan, rice paper that was developed for Chinese calligraphy and painting.
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