What is Chan Painting?

The term Chan or Channa is a chinese transliteration of the sanskrit Dhyana (contemplation), a Mahayana Buddhist school imported from India by Bodhidharma in the VII° c. Blending with the local culture, it incorporated Taoists and Confusianists views and practices to become a fully chinese spiritual path. Also referred to as the Mind School, Chan inspired a monochromatic spiritual pictural trend practised by the Chan monks which became what is generally called ‘Chan painting’.  But this art never became a school as such nor could it be define by a specific style but has remain an inspiration for painters till present days. Using the landscape painting techniques (shanshui) of the litterati, it had its apogee under the Song Dynasty (960 – 1279) before spreading to Japan (XIII° c.) as Sumi-e as it is still known today,  the difference being that the Litterati approach has remained more cultural – intellectual and symbolic – while Chan painting is more intuitive and contemplative. Read more…

Your heart should be totaly empty,
Without the slightest hint of dust
And landscape will emerge from the depth of your soul.
Wang Yu (XVII c.)

A ‘Chan painting’ transcribes Chan mind into an art form through the spiritual intuition of the painter. Chan painting never existed as a school nor as a specific style, so it preserved its freedom, creativity and humour.
It could be called Chan (inspired) painting, spiritual painting, a painting of the being, an art of simplicity, the Tao of ink and bamboo.
Under any other name, a rose….



Trek and Ink Painting in Everest region
27 February to 14 March 2021

Registrations are open for our next Chan painting trek organized by Base Camp Trek
in the Everest Region (Solu Khumbu)

see the detail ….


Silent Rapsody‘, by Jerome

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23 October, 2019 0
”Transcribe the idea” – Xieyi Style

Jérome Edou

17 October, 2018 0
What is Chan painting ?

Jérome Edou

3 October, 2018 0
Spiritual but nor religious ?

Jérome Edou


short video of Jerome made during a trek, painting & meditation in Nepal.

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