Calligraphy

Thich Nhat Hanh’s Zen calligraphies have been exhibited in North America, Europe and Asia. These eloquent ink artworks capture his insights, peace, and gentle compassion.

Calligraphic Meditation – The Mindful Art Of Thich Nhat Hanh

In my calligraphy, there is ink, tea, breathing, mindfulness and concentration. This is meditation. This is not work. Suppose I write ‘breathe’; I am breathing at the same time. To be alive is a miracle and when you breathe in mindfully, you touch the miracle of being alive.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh began to write calligraphies in 1994, for the titles of books, songs and articles appearing in print. Using traditional Chinese ink on rice paper, he developed a new style of Zen calligraphy in the western Roman script. Calligraphies such as “This is it,” “I have arrived, I am home” and “The bread in your hands is the body of the cosmos” began to be framed on the walls in his practice centres around the world.

The calligraphies act as a “bell of mindfulness” for the viewer, reminding us to arrive in the here and now, and touch the wonders of life.

The purpose of art is to enrich our lives. Thich Nhat Hanh is an artist who cleanses our hearts and souls.

Mr Yeung Chun-Tong, Director, Hong Kong University Museum and Art Gallery

His original calligraphies have now become collectors’ items. High-quality reproduction prints are available in his monasteries, with proceeds going to support his community and the creation of mindfulness practice centers around the world.

Books and Calendars – Be inspired
This Moment Is Full of Wonders

A beautiful book of Thay’s calligraphies

Read more


Exhibitions

Calligraphy trivia
  • Thich Nhat Hanh has created over 10,000 original calligraphies
  • He used Chinese ink on rice paper sourced in Hong Kong and Vietnam, and brushes from Japan and France
  • Every calligraphy contains tea from his cup, which he poured into the block to mix the ink
  • Thich Nhat Hanh breathes in for the first half of the “enzo” circle, and out for the second half.
  • Vietnamese temples have their own tradition of calligraphic art in the Roman Script. Thich Nhat Hanh’s new style builds on this tradition with strokes that are distinctively bold, simple and free, incorporating Modern European elements, such as the gentle running ‘r’ from the French.

2019 – Bangkok, Thailand

January 23 – February 17, at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (see Bangkok Post).

2013 – New York City, USA

US premiere exhibit at ABC Home on Broadway.

2013 – Bangkok, Thailand

April 2-12, at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (see Bangkok Post).

2012 Plum Village, France

July-August, at Son Ha Temple, Plum Village Practice Center

2011 Vancouver, Canada

August 6-11, at the Asian Centre Auditorium, University of British Columbia (see Vancouver Sun).

2011 Taiwan

April 8-23, at Dharma Drum Mountain’s World Center for Buddhist Education, New Taipei City. A joint Exhibition of Chinese Calligraphy Works of Master Thich Nhat Hanh and Master Sheng Yen, curated by Dr. Eva Yuen.

2010-2011 Hong Kong 

November 2 – January 9, at Hong Kong University, curated by Mr. Yeung Chun Tong & Dr. Eva Yuen. Co-presented by the University Museum and Art Gallery, The University of Hong Kong, and the European Institute of Applied Buddhism (EIAB), Germany.

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