Moving from Emptiness: The Life and Art of a Zen Dude

Documentary by Jerry Hartleben and Shaeri Richards

Where does creativity come from? Zen calligraphic painter Alok Hsu Kwang-han proposes that it arises from emptiness, from that silent space that houses the intelligence prior to thought. Armed with rice paper, ink, brush, and a collection of Zen teachings and koans, he unlocks a magical door for his students. According to Alok, he teaches painting ‘by not teaching painting’. Instead he shows students how to get out of their way, so that ‘creativity happens on its own.’

Like a performance artist, he deeply enters this space of silence preparing to paint in front of audiences and groups. Moments later, the crowd delights as his artwork appears before their eyes with a few elegant strokes of the brush.

Alok lives his life very much like he teaches his workshops: remaining open to both beauty and pain, bringing presence and acceptance to whatever arises in front of him. He does it all while invoking a spunky sense of humour that keeps us smiling.

Playful. Profound. Meditative. Deeply healing.  ‘Moving from Emptiness: The Life and Art of a Zen Dude’ is more than just a film, it is a transformational experience.

Watch the Trailer