Talk:Ink wash painting

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I took my first lesson in Sumi-e two weeks ago. I haven't painted in over 6 years--it felt quite liberating to feel the brush touch the ink then paper. As I practice on my own time I find it so soothing and relaxing. I see the power and passion coming through the strokes.

Sumi-e etc.[edit]

水墨畫 is a Chinese way of painting. Sumi-e is only a Japanese name for the same thing.

This page should merge with Suiboku.

Under which name? I note on the Suiboku article that all the prominent artists named are Japanese. Exploding Boy 20:46, Jan 4, 2005 (UTC)
Well, both names are transliterated Japanese words, so Chinese v. Japanese bias hardly enters into it. Google gives far more results for sumi-e (460k v 7k), so I guess we should make that the main article title. I also think sumi-e is probably a better known to English speakers of the two terms. Although I may just think that because of the Photoshop filter called sumi-e. --Carl 04:54, 5 Jan 2005 (UTC)
This is a very late note on the above brief discussion.
At some stage the name of the article became "Ink and wash painting", and the Chinese and Korean names were added. This is a big step forward, as the Chinese were the originators of this art and the Koreans are also masters at it.
However, sumi-e is probably the best known name in English for this art form. Suibokuga, shuimohua, and sumukhwa are all less well known. That is why I've reversed the informal "pecking order" that seems to have become established among many editors, which puts Chinese first, Japanese second, and Korean third (Vietnamese is usually fourth).
I'm not sure how this "pecking order" has come about. The thinking seems to be that "China is the originator and should come first, Japanese is best known and of greatest importance after China, so it should come second, Korean is minor and should come last. Vietnam? Isn't that part of S. E. Asia?" Indeed, since Vietnam is an economically backward nation in the modern world and no longer uses Chinese characters, it hardly rates a mention.
The trouble is that this pecking order is poorly motivated and smacks of POV. For instance, if "historical priority" is the main criterion, Korean should come before Japanese, given that much Chinese culture first came to Korea before being transmitted to Japan. And Vietnam was part of China for a thousand years, unlike Japan, which was never subject to China. So Vietnam should possibly precede Japan, too. Of course, such a result would be considered rather "unconventional". People who want to put Japan in its place (which means, after China) thus end up putting the names in the above pecking order of "national importance".
Rather than follow the informal pecking order, however, it could equally be argued that the terms most familiar to English speakers should come first. Sumi-e is known by a lot of people whereas neither shuimo hua nor sumukhwa is particularly well known. If the article is written from the point of view of the English speaker rather than from a point of view of "putting Japan in its place", then sumi-e should be placed in first position and not relegated to a secondary place in the list of "Oriental names".
It's from this point of view that I've again placed sumi-e first after it was shifted back to the familiar "pecking order" by another editor.
Bathrobe (talk) 11:04, 2 March 2008 (UTC)


You might want to take a look through your external links section-- I found one that wasn't related to painting at all, and another that was in japanese and therefore unintelligible to almost any wikipedia user; I didn't look at all of them, but I'm sure that some better refrences can be found. Ahudson 17:35, 24 January 2007 (UTC)


I believe this form of art (and depiction of the Four Gentlemen) is also practiced in Vietnam. Badagnani (talk) 02:14, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

Reference and awkward sentence[edit]

"Asian aesthetic writing is generally consistent in stating the goal of ink and wash painting is not simply to reproduce the appearance of the subject, but to capture its spirit." I have never heard of "aesthetic writing". I googled it and still found no other use of that expression. "Asian aesthetic writing" is broad and vague. Is there a specific resource stating that the goal of ink and wash painting is to capture the spirit of the subject? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:19, 17 February 2016 (UTC)

Most Prestigious[edit]

"Most prestigious" is subjective. My understanding is that calligraphy is considered the most prestigious art form, at least in China. LuKesi (talk) 21:24, 5 June 2017 (UTC)


"Ink wash painting is usually done on xuan paper (Chinese) or washi (Japanese paper) both of which are highly absorbent and unsized." Xuan paper can be unsized, sized, half-sized, or double-sized and all are used for painting depending on the desired effect. LuKesi (talk) 21:41, 5 June 2017 (UTC)