tuula närhinen

FLUX-Ink Spill Current


Suminagashi ('spilled ink’ or ‘floating ink’) is a Japanese marbling technique that relies on the fluidity of water.

Black ink is deposited with the tip of a brush on the surface of the water. The surface tension forms circular ink shapes. Agitated by a few drops of detergent and sea breeze, the floating ink starts to disperse. When a sheet of Japanese sumi paper is applied gently to the surface, the pores of the dry paper absorb the ink patterns. The sheet becomes instantaneously impregnated with delicate drifting marks.

The black fractal shapes created by the movements of the fluid are attractive and pleasing to the eye. Simultaneously the decorative patterns evoke environmental threats such as oil spills or blue algae blooms drifting on the surface of the Baltic Sea.

At the core of this work is the medium of ink that enables the water currents to translate themselves into a calligraphic script.

  • Calligraphy of the water
  • Installation views

  • Floating ink
    Drifting ink pattern on sumi paper
    Installation in the 8th Turku Biennial at Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova 17.11.2017-8.4.2018