Definition of sumi in English:



  • A type of black Japanese ink prepared in solid sticks and used for painting and writing.

    • ‘The top is deeply black with rubbed sumi ink; the shading fades gradually toward a natural wood color base.’
    • ‘In the 16 paintings in this show (all but one produced in the last three years), Shinoda uses black sumi and cinnabar inks in asymmetrical compositions that balance empty space.’
    • ‘In America, some New York School artists took Japanese calligraphy and sumi painting, which is essentially abstract, as a new point of departure.’
    • ‘These sumi and ballpoint-ink drawings on irregularly shaped sheets of heavy paper are elaborate, whatever their size, and marked by a balance between detailed description and graphical shorthand.’
    • ‘Jae Ko's sculptures, of rolled paper and sumi ink, never stop asking these questions.’
    • ‘In the earliest of Fukui's three-layer paintings, the newsprint collage was sometimes almost completely obscured by acrylic and sumi ink.’
    • ‘Furthermore, as grandly theatrical as Showtime may be, with its massive yet weightless clouds of sumi ink, it is no more so than Christmas Day, another big canvas that looks even bigger than it is.’
    • ‘Her work, A4 size drawings in red sumi ink, often inspired by news stories or from her own life, is described as ‘quirky with humour’ rooted in a sense of menace’.’
    • ‘Whenever possible we like to design our company logos to resemble sumi ink drawings from 17th century Zen Masters and whatnot.’
    • ‘He is the only foreign member of the exclusive Suiboku-kai, an association of artists dealing primarily in sumi ink paintings.’
    • ‘In fact, such was his dedication, this was a man who spent 1977 in Japan learning from a Japanese master on how to draw with sumi ink.’
    • ‘Working on soaked and stretched Arches paper, Reiger uses many media on one surface, preferring watercolor, sumi inks, acrylic and graphite.’
    • ‘The artist's fascination for the Japanese sumi (ink painting) genre is reflected in the series of landscapes presented here.’
    • ‘The fire is made with sticks of aromatic sumi and aromatic scents are added.’
    • ‘Fluid images of tree limbs sweeping across the other set of frames recall exhilarating strokes of sumi ink painting.’
    • ‘Called suminagashi (floating ink), Japanese marbling was accomplished by gently floating sumi ink on the surface of water, then transferring the random patterns formed to a sheet of paper.’
    • ‘Well in the copy there were terms such as ‘riari’ and ‘tokuari’ which were written with sumi ink.’
    • ‘Its five 6 to 9 foot high blocks of sumi ink (some mixed with resin and fiberglass) were cast from scholars' rocks and constantly modified by the wear of trickling water.’


Early 20th century: Japanese, literally ink, blacking.