Woodland Mandala

Woodland Mandala

Nicki Ley

I recall in vivid detail my first interlude with one Jun Ishida. It was the summer of 2006 and he had been an artist-in-residence at I-Park, an international artists' enclave located in my hometown of East Haddam, Connecticut. It was on that day that I first became acquainted with mandala (of Jun's creation). I remember being instructed to walk slowly upon the stones placed within, and to contemplate the essence of the moment, sure to be mindful of the ground beneath my feet. At my recollection it was an absolute spiritual experience, and the calmness evoked, unparalleled at the time. I learned that day the importance of perpetually being mindful, both in motion and in thought. In addition, Jun's paintings have long been favorites of mine, and in being in awe of his work, I purchased one of his compilation books entitled, quite simply, "A Nice Little Book". It shall forever remain with me, till I breathe all the air out my lungs.


 Darling Can We? Spring Stream    42" x 75"   acrylic on canvas

Darling Can We? Spring Stream
42" x 75" acrylic on canvas

Paul Mihas, the writer

Enchanting Mindscapes: The Explosion of Color and Secret Symbols

Jun Ishida's art invites you to an enchanting realm where figures from Buddhist iconography commingle with haiku poems, Chinese Buddhist mantras, and Tibetan secret symbols. Here is a celebration of color and the gathering place of rabbits, storms, fish, and fragments of poems in both Japanese and English. Ishida's canvases, teeming with life, bring to mind fertility and the glory of the present moment. His most provocative paintings incorporate a high level of detail and offer unusual perspectives -- from beneath a tree looking at a spray of branches -- and a collage-like effect of powerful images -- flames, bull's horns, and floating poems. In bringing to life Asian imagery in all its elegance, the artist invites the viewer to experience the immediate sensation of color and fantasy while the lingering eye will attempt to decipher the layers of meaning and paint.

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