Sign and Space: Calligraphy Workshop

Sign and Space in the Eastern and Western calligraphy, Turin, Italy with Norio Nagayama and Monica Dengo

The Museum of Oriental Art in Torino  will host an exhibition of Monica Dengo and Norio Nagayama’s works during the Calligraphy workshop

Monica Dengo, Body Dream

Monica Dengo, Body Dream


Course: Calligraphy workshop
Where: Turin, NW Italy
Dates: September 4th to 11th, 2016
Appropriate for: Practitioners of both traditions are welcome however no previous experience is required
Venue: Collegio San Giuseppe, our campus located in the heart of the city
Time: The workshop will start at 3.00pm on September 4th and ends at 5:30pm on September 10th. Daily activities will start at 9:00am and finish at 5:30pm. An Exhibition of the artists’ works will be held at the end of the course. All materials Included in the workshop’s cost.
Tutors: Norio Nagayama and Monica Dengo: visit the links to the artits’ sites and
Course structure: 3+3 plus half day meeting in between with the two artists.


In partnership with MAO

With the patronage of MAO


In partnership with Collegio San Giuseppe


Sponsored by Arches

Sponsored by Winsor & Newton



Norio Nagayama

Norio Nagayama

Course description

This course, aimed at opening an exchange with Eastern calligraphy, the Sho-Do, offers elements that can establish connections between two extremely different calligraphic cultures.


Included materials


velin-arches100% cotton and fabricated as a round shape following traditional techniques, it lacks acids, with an alkaline supply and it fulfills all conservation requirements. The naturalness of the white makes it the ideal support for drawing and graphic art. With filigree “ARCHES® France ∞.



These inks are highly appreciated by artists, illustrators and graphics. They are extremely bright. They dry rapidly, are water-resistant, transparent and can be diluted with water (preferably distilled) to increase the transparency.



Monica Dengo’s course

It will all start with the action that comes from handwriting and develops into a research of calligraphic lettering. We will work on the sign characteristics, its speed, depth or lightness and then we will be handling space, emptiness. Guided by fluid alphabetic forms, less restricted by the rigid rules of readability, we will be able to orient the attention to the dynamic relation between line and space. Students will learn to let the word develop into a composition where every sign originates from the relation with the previous sign, in an infinite game of balance.
“For years I have been drawn by the research of a different relation between person and writing. I started from the idea that writing is the act of expressing ones thought with the gesture of a pen, although the final product is not readable in its semantic contents.
The final question is: Is a Western way to hand-writing possible? Can we, through a deeper understanding of the Eastern calligraphic culture, discover unknown aspects of ours? My course is a metamorphosis”.



Norio Nagayama’s course

Day 1
Morning- introduction to Shodo (Eastern calligraphy) and the materials’ characteristics (brush, paper, ink)
Afternoon-real practice in order to experience Eastern philosophy (Study of the main traits of the Kaisho style)
Day 2
Morning-practice to experience Eastern philosophy
Afternoon-exercise of a character chosen by participants
Day 3
To experience the result
Morning-study of the participants’ chosen character introduction to the cursive style (gyosho): how to add energy and personality to writing.
Afternoon-creation in large dimension (purely recreational)

Obviously, in three days excellence is hard to attain. Nevertheless, each individual will have as a result of studying, an authentic piece of work created by themselves that will carry the memory of the experience of this course.

An exhibition of Monica Dengo and Norio Nagayama’s works  will be held at the Museum of Oriental Art in Torino  during the Calligraphy workshop

For further information on the costs and to sign up, please contact Patricia Parpajola at


Monica Dengo

Monica Dengo