Ma wo egaku - Feeling the ma

Saturday, November 23, 2019
15:00 ÷ 18:00
Galleria Nobili
Via Marsala, 4
20121 Milano (MI)

Ma wo egaku

Feeling the ma
Freehand drawing lab on the Japanese concept of ma
Volume 2
held by Kanako Takahashi

What is ma

The Japanese word ma defines a peculiar concept of Japanese culture and presents a plurality of meanings like pause, interval and interruption. Its ideogram combines the radical kan (meaning 'door') with the symbol hi (meaning 'sun'). It outlines a limited space, like a window or a gate, through which the light filters but also a temporal time. The original meaning, in China, was linked to space, but when it arrived in Japan it took on a fundamental meaning linked to time.

Ma still has a fundamental role in daily life and in the arts and it is used for example in architecture and music.

As a space-time interval it allows the various elements to coexist, mixing them harmoniously. We can define that like a circumscribed void, like in the pause between the notes of a musical piece, in the silence between one word and another or in the space interspersed between the compositional elements of a picture. It's a system of interdependent relations able to involve and condition the observer.

Feeling the 'ma' - Freehand drawing lab

The laboratory

In this laboratory, our teacher Kanako Takahashi, through freehand drawing, will lead us to experience the most intangible aspect of ma, showing us some works where this concept lies, for instance sound and music by contemporary composer John Cage, and in some traditional pieces played with shakuhachi, tha traditional Japanese straight flute.
Far from being exhausted, this subject will be looked at deeper in future workshops.

Kanako Takahashi biography

Kanako Takahashi was born in Japan in 1983.
In 2006 she graduated in Design at Joshibi University of Art and Design. Then she studied painting at the Académie de Port-Royal in Paris and she traveled around Europe for study purposes. Back in Japan she was awarded the Milan Award by Joshibi University of Art and Design. In 2011 she collaborated with Migliore + Servetto.

She currently lives and works in Milan, collaborating with various projects between Italy and Japan. Her research is linked to the interaction between human sensitivity and the different facets of reality.
She is currently involved in the preparation of a personal exhibition at the "IMMAGINARIA GALLERIA ARTI VISIVE" Gallery in Florence, after the "O.R.A. Award" conferred in 2017.


  • Maximum 12 students
  • Cost € 75
  • If you already attended this course and you want to go deeper into the subject: special offer Euro 65.00
  • For subscriptions please write to

Cancellation and non-attendance

If the cancellation occurs:
  • 10 or more days before the course: we will refund 85% of the amount
  • 7,8,9 days before: 50% refund
  • less than 7 days or non-attendance: no refund

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