Rita Böhm

I was born in 1939 in Leipzig, Germany and emigrated 1959 to work in international offices of architecture in Marocco, France and South America. In Sao Paolo, Brazil, I managed my own Studio for Interior Decoration and Design for 25 years.

Since my youth I have been fascinated by Japanese culture. In the beginning of the 20th century the largest Japanese colony outside of Japan settled in Brazil. With the Japanese emigrants and their descendants also Japanese art and religion became part of the Brazilian multinational lifestyle.

1965 I came in touch with the Japanese Zen-Buddhism of the Soto-sect.

Zen-master Ryotan Tokuda was to become my model and teacher.

Together with him I tried for many years to spread Zen-Buddhism in Brazil. Trips and longer stays in Japan allowed me to gain a more profound understanding.

1983 I was to become student of the Sumi-e-master Massao Okinaka, who taught the Art of Japanese Painting at the Institute of Japanese Culture in Sao Paolo. He was my friend and master for 15 years. Together with him I participated in international Sumi-e exhibitions in Japan, China, Korea and Europe. 1997 I was prepared to open my own school and to continue the tradition of the Shijo-School in the fourth generation. Since I left for the USA in 1999 my students continue the tradition of Sumi-e painting in Brazil.

After three years of teaching in the USA (California and Arkansas) also my American students continue my work.

Since 2001 I am successfully teaching the until then almost unknown Art of Sumi-e in Berlin, Germany. With exhibitions, live-performances and workshops I am making an effort to find lovers of this noble art also in Europe.