M_M JOURNEY SIGHT (Mindfulness and Mushin 無心) exhibition

The ongoing exhibition at Iwasawa Oriental Arts, Mushin: Mindfulness, has been conceived as an alternative to today’s complex culture of busyness and on-demand lifestyles. Traditional Japanese Zen Buddhist philosophy holds that Mushin — the practice of mindful awareness that literally translates to “no mind” or “mindless” — is a state of profound stillness, clearing the mind of all distractions so as to reflect a clear awareness of one’s surroundings without judgment or attachment.

Iwasawa Oriental Arts proudly announces Mushin: Mindfulness, introducing site-specific works by painter Gregory Burns and photographer Angie Tan-Burns working together collaboratively, on display with artwork by longtime Iwasawa artist associates Mayumi Oda and Ken Matsumoto. New to the gallery walls, Gregory Burns is a dedicated artist whose inspirational life has been filled with achievements which, as he acknowledges in his book, Painted Journey are often surprising even to himself: “Though stumbling, I move forward, arriving in places I could never have imagined before starting out. I’m still getting used to this after 30 years of stubbing toes and wasting paint.”

Importantly, this exhibition marks the first time in the three decades of Iwasawa Oriental Art’s tenure in its downtown Los Gatos location that traditional Japanese art and contemporary arts are presented together in a unified expression of a cultural construct. The theme of mushin/mindfulness goes beyond traditional boundaries into modern perspectives, challenging usual expectations and generating fresh responses. It is the gallery’s intention that the energy from this unusual combination will stimulate widespread interest in the timeless quality at the heart of Japanese art throughout its long history.

Please visit the websites below of the artists whose work will be on exhibit.

The exhibition is organized by Kumiko Iwasawa, owner of Iwasawa Oriental Arts in Los Gatos, and curated by Jade Bradbury, former Curator for the History Museum of Los Gatos and Town of Los Gatos Art in Council Chambers; currently an independent professional curator, writer, and artist.

The Japanese philosophy of “no mind” (無心 mushin) encompasses the concepts of non-attachment, acceptance of change and fate as aspects of human life. Learn more about Mushin on Wikipedia.


Iwasawa Oriental Arts hosted a book signing event with Paloma Pavel, author of Random Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty (illustrated by Mayumi Oda) and Gregory Burns, author of Painted Journey. Mayumi and Gregory are both featured artists in this exhibition. The book signing t00o place on Sunday, November 16, 2014, 2-5 pm.

Download event flyer

Artwork Highlights

You may view more information about the featured artists in their profiles on the iJaponesque site, as well as the videos below.


Mushin: Mindfulness eBook

Mushin: Mindfulness eCatalog

About the Artists

Gregory Burns: Artist in Residence, Shangri-La Tokyo

The Motivation of Limitation: Gregory Burns at TEDx Singapore Management University

Update with Mayumi Oda from Who Does She Think She Is?