Japan, 1955


One of Sogen Chiba skills is the “Spiral Splash”, which consist in swinging the stem of a very long and thin brush, intentionally to splash the ink and to draw the spiral form of it. Sogen developed the very long brush himself. This skill is not just swinging the hand with the brush, but drawing the line by twisting and rolling the wrist flexibly at the centre of the round cross section of the brush stem as a starting point, so that the swinging force is amplified toward the point of the 30 cm brush, much longer than a regular sized one, and the ink is scattered momentarily. The form of the splash can be controlled by Sogen’s techniques. The theme expressed by the “Spiral Splash” is about the cosmic and the spiritual, large-scale thing beyond human wisdom, such as explosive phenomena like the Big Bang, and the Phoenix.