The Fire Next Time

October 14, 2006 - January 28, 2007

Kamran Moojedi's landscape series mirrors his experience of the great San Bernardino Mountains fire of 2003, which left the forests surrounding his home a vast graveyard of charred trees. This disaster changed the focus of his art. “The Fire Next Time” explores the cycle of dualities between life and death, hope and despair, good and evil, and beauty and ugliness. Drawing on ancient teachings, Moojedi emphasizes a reverence for all life and sheds light onto the darker side of the human spirit.
The exhibition consists of over a hundred mixed media works; combining sketches, digital paintings, photography, writings, and installations.

A Special Exhibition by Kamran Moojedi
Respect for Nature
A Special Presentation and Lecture by Dr. Mary Evelyn Tucker

January 27, 2007 at 2 pm

Views of nature from the world's religions are richly varied and most frequently expressed in the particular arts and culture of the world's civilizations. From Zen gardens in East Asia to western landscape painting, the quality of nature's beauty shines forth. We explore different cultural perspectives for respecting nature that may lead us toward a more inclusive global environmental ethic. As we enter into a period of searching for the basis for a sustainable future for the Earth community, these varied views of nature will help to shape flourishing human-Earth relations.

October 10, 2007 - October 31, 2007

Ms. Heussenstamm was a longtime resident of La Crescenta, CA, who passed away in 2005. In 1989, at age 59, without formal training as an artist, she started creating watercolor portraits. She was intrigued by the astounding variety of human skin coloration and tones, and devoted herself to revealing the full-spectrum of humanity’s many hues in her artwork. Her husband, George Heussenstamm shared the numerous stories related to each portrait by a slide presentation as part of the exhibition.

The genesis of all civilization is marked by the birth of a common literature and common styles of arts, crafts, music, and religion. These elements define a society and give it its identity. The Shumei Arts Council wishes to show the harmonizing effects of cultural affinities by tracing to their origins – the basic human condition that all people share and celebrate. We believe that art must constantly return to its origins in order to be alive and new.
Skin Tones
An exhibition of watercolor portraits by Mary Heussenstamm
A Photographic View of Climate Change
A Photography Exhibition by Gary Braasch
Gary Braasch is a Portland, Oregon based photographer who has covered environmental issues and natural history science for 30 years. He was awarded the Ansel Adams Award for Conservation Photography by the Sierra Club in 2006. His work on old growth forests is well known in the Northwest. He has photographed on assignment for magazines ranging from National Geographic and Scientific American to Time and Life. He was the sole photographer for the 2007 United Nations calendar featuring images of climate and biodiversity. Gary's work on climate has just been published in a book by University of California Press in 2007, EARTH UNDER FIRE: How Global Warming Is Changing the World.
November 10, 2007 – January 27, 2008
This exhibition was supported in part by the Shumei International Institute.

A Special World of


Watercolor Exhibition of deeply moving poems and superbly wrought flower paintings
Inspired by nature’s simple truths, Tomihiro’s images and verse give a rare insight into the depths of misery he faced and eventually overcame when in 1970, at the age of 24, the artist was left paralyzed from the neck down. His work also allows a glimpse of the heights the human spirit can scale. Holding a brush in his mouth, each stroke on paper brims with hope, courage, and an earnest joy of living. His art is a profound gift to all of us.
October 10, 2008 - January 24, 2009
Calligraphy Exhibition by Alex Kerr
March 13, 2009 - June 27, 2009

Alex Kerr is author, Japonologist , calligrapher and Asian arts collector who has lived in Japan and Thailand for more than 30 years. He has learned about calligraphy by copying the art works in his collection. In the process he has developed his own style, which is a mix of the two styles ruled Japanese calligraphy for centuries: Literati and Court.

Each piece is a unique expression of a moment. It’s also an expression of his view of life, the life he has had in Japan and East Asia since he was a little boy, and life experienced vicariously through the thoughts and philosophies expressed in calligraphies, paintings, and the traditional arts around him.

A special art exhibition featuring Harold O’Connor (metal art) & Polly Barton (silk weaving).
October 25, 2009 – January 10, 2010
Harold O’Connor’s creative life is dominated by the coupling of ancient techniques and contemporary aesthetics. His designs originate from primal relationships between earth, fire, and sky. His wearable objects incorporate the use of humble, common stones as well as noble materials such as gold and silver. Some of the techniques he employs are among the oldest invented by man, including granulation, examples of which are found at the site of Ur, Iraq, dated from about 2,440 B.C. Many of his creations manifest a Zen quality and a sense of wabi-sabi, one of the aesthetic values of Japanese culture. Mr. O'Connor approaches his art like one meandering through a Japanese garden.

Polly Barton undertook intensive studying of kimono silk weaving in Japan for six months in the early 1980s. She currently resides in Santa Fe, NM, pursuing silk weaving with the finely detailed techniques of kasuri, which employs fibers dyed to create splashed patterns. Under the immense sky of the Southwest, the ancient legend of the cosmic Spider Woman’s weaving of all creation is almost visible, reminding us of our origins. In weaving, the warp is the vertical plane of resistance, the chosen path similar to a blank canvas, an empty page, or a sculptor’s block. The weft is the horizontal element, the hand and will of the artist. Together, woven threads mark the progress of time. Working with thread, the weaver sustains both our collective and multicultural histories implicit in the grid of the loom.

The Pleasures of Being an Unrestrained, Undisciplined Collector

A special lecture by Willard G. Clark

February 14, 2010

Willard G. ‘Bill’ Clark, a fifth generation rancher turned international businessman who has been collecting Japanese art for four decades, founded the Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture in 1995 at Hanford in California’s Central Valley. In April 2009, Mr. Clark received the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon, from the Japanese government for his efforts in introducing Japanese art and promoting educational exchange between Japan and the United States, such as establishing the curatorial program for young art scholars.


Mr. Clark spoke about Japanese culture, with special thoughts on his collection which forms the basis of the art collection at the Clark Center. His presentation included personal stories concerning how he started collecting art, an examination of the Clark Center and its goal of promoting the study and appreciation of Japanese art and culture, and a look at some of the works in his collection with engaging stories about how they were acquired.

This event was supported by the Clark Center for Japanese Art & Culture and the Cultural News.

Daifu Wada is a calligrapher, painter and woodblock print artist who lives in Tokyo, Japan. He began studying calligraphy in 1975 under Daiou Yamasaki and then Daiun Ino for 7 years. After retiring from his regular job at a bank, Daifu has focused on creating his own unique art style, expressing his world as an artist. His motifs are figures of Buddha and the sutras. Through his artworks, Daifu has strived to connect with a higher presence as well as fellow human beings, and the resulting creations are representative manifestations of his prayer.


“Buddha’s Smile” by Daifu Wada
March 5, 2010 – April 17, 2010

Architecture and DNA

Photographs by Cybele Lyle

July 11, 2010 - July 31, 2010

“Architecture and DNA” is a series of photographs that examines the influence of a father’s work as an architect on his daughter’s work as an artist.

Inspired by models of buildings and gardens that Cybele's dad designed when she was a child, Cybele started constructing her own buildings out of foam core – emphasizing the kind of spaces that fit her personal life. Unlike her dad’s works that were designed to be used in the real world, her structures were created as spaces of potential – architecture for her own personal/artistic narratives.

The garden and studio of the home Cybele grew up in were designed by her dad and, of all his work, had the most immediate impact on her. For this series of photographs she projected images of their garden and studio onto her own structures, creating a 3rd space – one that exposes the complexity of influence and departure from a parent.


The Dalai Lama's compassion and love speak not only to his followers and the people of Tibet, but to the whole world. As a global citizen, the Dalai Lama works tirelessly to promote a caring, peaceful, and just world based on the recognition of the oneness of our human family. His dreams and wishes are for a global transformation of consciousness that will change the world as it is into one of peace, well-being, and happiness. His tools for creating this earthly paradise are prayer, tolerance, patience, and love.





The Dalai Lama and His People

Photography exhibition by Don Farber

October 8, 2010 – October 30, 2010

The Dalai Lama’s dreams and goals are in complete accord with the fundamental principles of the Shumei Arts Council, making the photographs and venue an ideal fit.

My Mingei Legacy

A special lecture by Martha Longenecker Ph.D

Martha W. Longenecker, PhD is the founder and Director Emeritus of the Mingei International Museum in San Diego. Inspired by the vision of mingei and the legacy of its founder, Soetsu Yanagi, Dr. Longenecker dedicated herself to establishing and developing the museum over 37 years ago. Her goal was to bring art to the people of San Diego and far beyond. Min means all people and gei means art.

In 2003, she received the Order of the Rising Sun With Gold Rays and Rosettes from the Emperor of Japan.

February 13, 2011

Reflections of Nature
Photography Exhibition by Philip Johnston

February 13, 2011 – March 13, 2011

Philip Johnston sees his experiences of nature as a way of realizing his own well-being. Nature’s quiet moments, even when standing next to a raging waterfall, encourage him to be attentive, to seek, to trust, to encourage, to share, to radiate, and to remember. The smell and feel of the soft earth underfoot while walking a wet pathway created by the passing of two-hundred-year-old redwoods sustain and inspire him. As a photographer, Mr. Johnston gives voice to many urban images by observing the perfect and seemingly random compositions of nature. He shares with us true riches by visualizing the vastness of a larger creation.


Scenic Wonders
Photography exhibition by Naoko Tsunoda

March 28, 2011~ April 16, 2011


Naoko Tsunoda was born in Kagawa Prefecture, Japan. When her husband's work took him to the U.S., she followed and resided in Texas and California for over ten years. America's majestic natural beauty greatly moved her and she became keenly aware of the importance of nature. Teaching herself photography in 2005, she developed a collection of photos that was published in 2008. She remained in North America until 2009 to continue her conversation with nature and strive to capture its energy and essence. In 2010, she returned to Japan where she continues her photographic work.

The Rhythm of Nature by Susan Dobay

May 20, 2011 ~ June 12, 2011

The way I see nature

In nature there is wholeness, all things relating to each other and to their surroundings.
Sometimes sweat music or turbulent rhapsodies can be heard through the ears of the mind ( the ears of intuition)
The most beautiful dance and acrobatic performances can be seen through the magic of imagination.
There are great exciting dramas playing in nature’s theatre where Life and Death are the actors in an eternal balance, always creating and entertaining.


Great composers have been inspired by the rhythm of nature.

To enhance the imagination that can be absorbed through nature it is also inspirational to listen to musical compositions while creating visual art.
Different art forms (just like nature) are part of the whole and help each other in creation and self-expression.

In my paintings of nature like any other subject matter, I select and search for a higher state of awareness- a striving for balance between matter and soul.

I like to involve viewers in a creative game to stimulate them intellectually

and emotionally.

- Susan Dobay -

Robert Crowder, also known as Vralati & Shoji Kuroda, was a painter and printmaker who employed diverse styles to reflect wide cultural influences. Besides being a visual artist, he was also an accomplished musician, horticulturist, and poet. Among his literary publications are his autobiography titled “My Lost Japan” and his book of poems, “The Blue Furoshiki,” in which he investigated the emotional depths of his biographical experiences.
His murals have decorated sets of many well-known Hollywood films from the 50s & 60s, and TV shows in the 70s and 80s, and Crowder wallpaper designs cover the halls of numerous luxury hotels throughout the world.

Mr. Crowder often painted in oils. He signed his floral still-lives, ‘Vralati.’
In the final years of his century-long life, Shoji Kuroda created his greatest achievement, a series of powerful ‘byobu’ (folding screens) in traditional Japanese style. He called this project, “The Endangered Birds of Japan.”

100 YEARS: The imagination of Robert Crowder, Vralati, and Shoji Kuroda
The three faces of an artist that lived for a century
A special exhibition by Robert Crowder

November 13, 2011 - January 8, 2012

Special Paper Art Exhibition

"Handmade Paper in Full Bloom"
By Annie Alexander

Annie Alexander’s handmade papers shimmer with flowers, sparks of light and dazzling beauty. This exhibit is a rare look at original paper artistry utilizing repurposed linen, abaca, found flora and iconic inclusions.

February 1 – July 18, 2017
10 am – 5 pm, closed Sunday

Shumei Hall Gallery
2430 E. Colorado Blvd. Pasadena, CA 91107
Tel: 626 584 8841



While I Breathe, I Hope

Drawing Exhibition by Deborah Lomas

October 2017 - August 2018

This exhibition is the result of over 30 years of pure love and respect for the many groups that make up the global tapestry of indigenous peoples. To me, these people are the greatest environmentalists.

One of the books that inspired me in my artistic endeavor was The Gaia Atlas of First Peoples. When invited to share my works at the Shumei International Institute, in Crestone, Colorado, I searched my book shelves to find the words that deeply spoke to me in the 1990's, when I was an angry young activist. I blew off the dust from the cover, opened it, and reread the foreword.

Our Earth is a vulnerable, abused place. Its opulent forests rapaciously felled, its rivers and oceans polluted. Its already degraded soils worked lifeless, its delicate envelope of atmosphere—the very basis for life on this planet is contaminated. In bending nature to our implacable will we are destroying her. Our material progress is achieved at the cost of passing on a wasteland to our grandchildren. As this turbulent century closes, we must radically alter our ways of life, patterns of consumption, systems of values, even the manner in which we organize our societies, if we are to ensure the survival of the Earth and ourselves. . . The world’s Indigenous peoples are the guardians of our fragile ecosystems, holding critical lessons that are vital to the wellbeing and future of our precious planet.

These words were written by a man whose name meant little to me back then, yet means so much to me now. Re-reading those words and recognizing his name now I am deeply moved. Maurice F. Strong. The man whose words had meant so much to me as a young girl had together with his wife Hanne donated the land in Crestone that now is the home of the Shumei International Institute, where this exhibition was first mounted. I only wish I could have thanked him personally for such a wonderful circle of serendipity.

The children that find their way onto my canvas seem to have a life of their own. I always begin with the eyes that seem to reach into my soul, allowing me to find a deeper connection to the earth. This exhibition then is a visual call to action. It is to continue that ancient call from deep within, where all is one. To feel that call, open our hearts, and love more.

---Deborah Lomas

About the Artist

Deborah Lomas was born in the north of England in1965. She studied art and design and later co-founded Network 3, an agency for young illustrators in Liverpool. Deborah has exhibited widely in her homeland and the southwest USA.
This exhibition at Shumei Hall is a homecoming for Deborah. It has been 20 years since her work was displayed at the Shumei Hall Gallery at an exhibition entitled Earth Angels in 1997.





A x S Festival: City as Wunderkammer

November 2 - November 11



Crafted from the Earth:

The Rugged Beauty of Shigaraki Ceramics

Curated and organized by

Japanese art historian, Meher McArthur

November 3 , 2018 - February 17, 2019


This exhibition was part of the AxS Festival, a regional celebration of art and science, based in Pasadena and surrounding communities. It has been made possible thanks to the generous support of Gordon Brodfuehrer, Wilson Grabill, Wakae Nakamoto, the Mingei International Museum, San Diego, and Japan Foundation, Los Angeles.

Shigaraki, located in Shiga prefecture close to the ancient capital of Kyoto, is one of Japan’s oldest kiln centers, and has produced stoneware ceramics since the 12th century. Shigaraki wares derive much of their character from the local silica-rich clay sourced from the bed of nearby Lake Biwa. The clay is also rich in iron, which gives the body its warm orange tone, and feldspar, which bursts out onto the surface during firing and creates a characteristic rough texture. During high-temperature firings in anagama (single-chambered sloping kilns), the wood used to fuel the kilns creates ash that lands on the surfaces of the objects and creates patches of natural brown and green glaze. All of these chemical factors in the creation of these ceramics resulted in warm, rustic wares, seemingly born organically from the earth. Though these ceramics were originally utilitarian, their natural beauty made them highly prized by tea masters as wares for the tea ceremony, and since the 16th century, tea bowls, jars, dishes, vases and other vessels from the Shigaraki kilns have been one of Japan’s most beloved and collected ceramics.






Art Series



Teruyo Kitajima Handicrafts Exhibition East:

The World of Creative Flowers

A fusion of hands and spirit

Shumei Hall Gallery September 17, 2000 - October 8, 2000

Teruyo Kitajima was born in 1910 in Osaka, Japan. Upon graduation from Ibaragi High School for girls, Mrs. Kitajima studied handicrafts with a French teacher. It was then, on her own, that she originated 3 dimensional creative handicrafts. Her originality in technique and design remained constant throughout her entire life.

"The Messages from Water" Photographic Exhibition by Dr. Masaru Emoto

Shumei Hall Gallery August 4, 2001 - December 9, 2001

Dr. Masaru Emoto is one of the pioneers in the science of energy and vibration, and its effect on healing and spirituality. He is also the author of the book, "The Messages from Water". In his book, Dr. Emoto presents photographic evidence of how positive energy or negative pollution can alter the crystalline structure of the water we use.

Betsy Sterling Benjamin



"Kesa for the Millennium"

An exhibition of seven sacred robes

by fiber artist, Betsy Sterling Benjamin

September 30, 2001 - November 11, 2001

The seven works on view take the form of the traditional Buddhist meditation robe or "kesa", created by Betsy Sterling Benjamin in her studio in Kyoto, Japan. They were used as a focus for ceremonies held on each continent in preparation for the new millennium in January 2000.

As part of the millennium celebration, the works were displayed at Hobart, Tasmania; Shurugwi, Zimbabwe; McMurdo Research Station, Antarctica; Bubion, Granada, Spain; Machu Picchu, Peru; Minnesota, USA; and Kyoto, Japan.

They were first exhibited together at the Honen-in Temple in Kyoto. These wax-resist silk stoles are designed in the traditional Japanese patchwork pattern and are made of dyed silk from India, China, Japan, and Indonesia and embroidered, appliquéd, fused, and stenciled with gold powders. Much admired in Japan, Europe, and the USA for her dyed screens and paintings.





Kirigane Artworks

by Mimari Yasukawa:

December 12, 2001 - January 5, 2002

"Kirigane" by Mimari Yasukawa, literally "cut gold," is a decorative technique used in Buddhist artwork, in particular to decorate images of Buddhist deities. The technique came to Japan from China in the 6th century A.D.. Four sheets of leaves made of gold, silver, or platinum are pressed together with an iron to form the mediums for Kirigane. These sheets are traditionally placed on a piece of deer skin and cut into fine strips or other shapes using a knife made from bamboo. Using the tips of small brushes, the resulting pieces are then glued onto the surfaces of wooden Buddhist statues or paintings.


Alex Kerr


Alex Kerr Calligraphy Exhibition:

Shumei Hall Gallery April 14, 2002 - June 30, 2002

Alex Kerr is the author of many monographs and articles in both Japanese and English. His last book, "Lost Japan", which he wrote in Japanese, was the first foreign work to win the Shincho Gakugei Literary Prize for nonfiction in Japan.

Mr. Kerr had experienced calligraphy when he was in elementary school in Alexandria, Virginia. At the age of thirteen, his family moved to Yokohama, Japan. Later he studied Japanese at Yale, and after that, Chinese at Oxford in England. After graduating in 1974, he went to live in Kameoka, Japan where he became involved in the teaching of calligraphy, tea ceremony, Noh drama, etc. In the early 1980's, he started collecting hanging scrolls, hand scrolls, screens, shikishi and tanzaku plaques, Chinese rubbings, etc. Copying and tracing these, he developed his own style.



October 11, 2002 - December 8, 2002

"The painter of the soul," Mark Strickland chooses to plunge into the depths of the collective unconscious, pushing the impasto to its textural extreme, breathing dignity and rich fields of color into the human form and face. Internationally exhibited; Professor at Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, for 24 years, Mr. Strickland touches the highest of spiritual values and moves us to reflect on our own strengths of survival and hope.

This exhibition was sponsored by the City of Pasadena Arts Commission.

Songs from the Desert Sky


April 13, 2003 - June 1, 2003

The use of the traditional Japanese "kasuri" technique (binding skeins of silk to "resist-dye") has led Polly Barton, distinguished fiber artist, to bind a visual memory of the sky onto thread. Light and color continually shift in time and are played out dramatically in the Southwestern sky.

Polly Barton began weaving in Japan with Tomohiko Inoue, a master weaver in the Tsumugi technique. Hand-spinning silk, dyeing with traditional natural Japanese color sources, weaving on a kimono loom, centuries old in its design, producing a textile only 14h wide, was how she began, and how she continues to this day.

A Celebration of Light and Love

A Special Photographic Exhibition by David Finn

October 11, 2003 - January 11, 2004

David Finn, chairman and CEO of Ruder-Finn, one of the premier PR companies, is the author of a number of books about business and art. As a photographer of sculpture he has published over 80 books, ranging from the art of ancient Egypt and Greece, to the work of Donatello, Michelangelo, Rodin and Henry Moore. He is a member of the Advisory Council of the National Endowment for the Humanities, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a board member of a number of non-profit organizations.


NANGA(Chinese style brush painting) EXHIBITION


February 8, 2004 - March 14, 2004

Rouzeki Hanazuka was born in 1913 in Yokohama, Japan. He began, at age 18, to seriously study stone sculpture as a successor to his family grave stone monument business. At the same time, he began to thoroughly study other art mediums such as calligraphy, Nanga painting (Chinese style brush painting), and wood carving, all of which he mastered, and received many awards for throughout his lifetime.

In 1985, he received from the Emperor of Japan, the "Bunka-Kunsho" (highest award of cultural affairs in Japan) award (Kun Rokuto-Tanko Kyokujitsu-sho) for his works as a grave stone sculptor.

The Tender Land: Preserve Its Beauty

A Special Photography Exhibition by Bill Ellzey

September 13, 2004 - January 31, 2005

Primarily known for his stunning depictions of the big skies and vast terrains of the America west, Mr. Ellzey's sure and sensitive eye also has captured nature's splendor from Egypt to China, Alaska to Australia, and India to South America. His images appear in National Geographic and are featured on the pages of major publications throughout the world.

The Art of Evolution: Designing our Future by Learning from Our Awesome Ancestors

A Special Lecture by Dr. Elisabet Sahtouris

January 7, 2005

Internationally known as a dynamic speaker and media personality, Dr. Elisabet Sahtouris explores the biological evolution of Earth's living systems for models of organic organization in business, government and global economics.

Experience the Beauty of Japan

A Special Lecture and Demonstration on Noh Performance

September 22, 2005 at 7:00 pm

This lecture and performance featured the acclaimed Kanze School, actor MASASHI NOMURA,
descendant from a very distinguished lineage of Noh actors. Mr. Nomura was accompanied by Nohkan
flutist RICHARD EMMERT and Otsuzumi hip drummer EITARO OHKURA.

Masashi Nomura, Noh actor from Kanze Noh School (Biography)

Richard Emmert, Nohkan Flute (Biography)

Eitaro Ohkura, Otsuzumi Hip Drum from Ohkura school (Biography)

This event was supported by the Theatre of Yugen of San Francisco and the Japanese Traditional Performing Arts Organization.

Light and Beauty

A Photography Exhibition of Shumei's Three Sacred Places

September 22, 2005 - March 31, 2006

Informally knows as Shumei, Shinji Shumeikai is a spiritual organization dedicated to creating an ideal state of health, happiness, and beauty for all humanity by applying the philosophy of our founder, Mokichi Okada (1882-1955). This exhibition features the beauty and spirituality of Shumei's three sacred places in Japan and the United States.