ABOUT PAO SHAN
Pǎo Shan is a lay-ordained Zen Buddhist Monk and visual artist who lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He is a student of Kyoun Sokuzan, a fully-transmitted Priest in the Sōtō Zen Buddhist Lineage.
Pǎo Shan was born in Perth, Scotland. His family migrated to Australia when he was two years old, and he considers Brisbane, Queensland, his home town. He moved to the United States in 2000. His first public art exhibition was at age 12, a watercolor sunset on paper. After studying art in high school, Pǎo Shan began painting Chinese and Japanese landscape and nature scenes using house acrylic paints on boards. His university studies in Australia include degrees from the Queensland University of Technology, and The University of Queensland. Pǎo Shan began publicly showing his work in the United States in 2019.
Pǎo Shan's love of, and affinity to, Asian Art continues to this day. His many travels include an extended journey in Japan, as well as visiting and staying in many Buddhist Temples and Monasteries in the United States, Australia and Japan over the past 30 years.
"I love to utilize hand-ground Sumi Inks, applied with Chinese and Japanese ink calligraphy brushes, on to various media, including hand-made Japanese Heritage Washi papers and canvas. The contact of hand ground inks, employing a variety of calligraphy brushes, as it is applied to handmade paper, always surprises and delights me as I brush. Often, the brush-ink-paper interplay guides my hand, directing the final production of the piece.
Each one of my pieces is the result of what arises out of the teachings of the Buddhist path, sprung from concepts, thoughts, projections, conclusions and delusions that I contemplate during meditation. By going to the paper (or canvas) and applying swift strokes, I complete both the artwork and my meditation.
Pǎo Shan has devoted his life to the pursuit of helping others, through the Buddhist practice of Zen Meditation. His artistic endeavors are an integral part of that pursuit: sharing his exploration of the mind, and, indeed, the human consciousness, through artistic expression and mediums, and thus connecting with those whom it inspires.
"Accept the drifting clouds and moving moon as they are... Remember that the clouds have nothing to do with
direction, and the moon is not related to night or day, old or new."
Eihei Dōgen, Shōbōgenzō