Welcome to the National Capital Area Chapter of the Sumi-e Society of America.

Our chapter is a non-profit educational organization established in 1972 to

  • foster and encourage an Appreciation of East Asian brush painting and its techniques
  • serve as a bridge between East Asian and Western art
  • conduct educational activities
  • exhibit Sumi-e art at public events and shows
  • furnish information to persons who wish to learn about this art

We build on the mission of the Society founded in 1963 by Motoi Oi.

What is Sumi-e?

Sumi-e or traditional East Asian brush painting is an ancient and unique art form. It is frequently distinguished by its use of the Four Treasures consisting of 1) Rice Paper  2) Ink Stick  3) Ink Stone and  4) Brush. Sumi-e originated with Literati Painting centuries ago and spread through other parts of the world including the United States. All East Asian brush painters, regardless of location, use the same tools and similar brush techniques in the creation of traditional compositions as well as more contemporary works.

Paper – “Rice Paper” is a generic term for East Asian painting paper. (Silk and occasionally shikishi boards are also used as painting surfaces)


Ink Stick – carbon made from pine soot.

Ink Stone – used to grind ink stick with water to make ink.


Brush – Chinese invented round, pointed  animal hair brushes over 2000 years ago.


For more information on Sumi-e, please visit our national Sumi-e Society of America website at http://sumiesociety.org/whatissumie.php