Poem 71-91 (nothing)
Haku Maki (Japanese, 1924 – 2000)
MediumCement block print
DimensionsSheet : 32 x 17 in. (81.28 x 43.18 cm)
Frame : 41 1/2 x 24 in. (1.1 m x 60.96 cm)
Credit LineGift of Ann Hesselink in honor of John and Etta Hesselink
LabelHaku Maki was the artistic name used by Maejima Tadaaki from the 1950s until his death in 2000. Maki was drafted into a kamikaze squadron during World War II, but the war ended before he was forced to fly his suicide mission. After the war, Maki pursued his interest in art by studying printmaking with Koshiro Onchi and other members of the Sosaku Hanga movement. In the early 1960s, Maki developed an innovative technique for printing using carved cement blocks, which allowed him to create high relief images with interesting textures. Maki is best known for his prints featuring calligraphic characters. The character depicted in this print is mu, meaning “nothingness.” Mu is also a central concept in Zen Buddhism, indicating the state of consciousness beyond striving and desire.