Plainsboro Public Library – May 2017

This May, Plainsboro resident Taiko Lyding exhibits her latest collection of traditional Japanese paintings at Plainsboro Library Gallery, with an art reception on Sunday, May 7, 2 – 4 pm. Themed the “Vividness of Life,” her work depicts common individuals uttering the positive and optimistic sayings and thoughts of various famous philosophers of Japan. Other subjects include roosters (as it is the year of the rooster in Japan and China) flowers, birds, and even monsters, each of which carries an image of God. Many of Lyding’s works will be acrylic and water color painting on Japanese rice paper, while others will be mounted on “Shikishi”, hard boards with gold edges, typically measuring 24 x 27 cm. The show runs April 29 – May 24, 2017.

Ms. Lyding has previously exhibited her painting and calligraphy at the Plainsboro Library in June, 2013. In addition, Ms. Lyding has lectured and has given numerous calligraphy demonstrations at the Princeton Community Japanese Language School, Wicoff Elementary School, Grover Middle School, and High School South in Plainsboro, introducing countless students to Japanese culture.

Born in Shiogama City in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, Taiko Lyding enjoyed writing and painting from a young age, and was a frequent prizewinner in the Miyagi Prefecture elementary school writing contest. She went on to study calligraphy with Keisho Yokoishi, and oil painting under Shichiro Takahashi, and has won numerous awards in the national painting competition. Ms. Lyding also studied with Grand Master of calligraphy, Shuho Konno, the vice president of the Tohoku Calligraphy Association, and soon acquired the rank of full (Master) instructor.

After marrying her husband Chris in 1985, Ms. Lyding moved to Plainsboro, New Jersey. While continuing to practice calligraphy, she served as a Japanese instructor at Princeton University, while also lecturing on calligraphy in the East Asian Studies Department.

In 2011, upon returning to her hometown of Shiogama City, the great Tohoku earthquake and tsunami struck in that very region. In that same year, a rare neurological disease began to severely hinder Ms. Lyding’s motor skills and deprive her of the ability to walk. Despite this affliction, she is still able to produce a large body of paintings and calligraphic works.

The Plainsboro Library is located at 9 Van Doren Street, Plainsboro, NJ. Hours are 10-8:30 Monday – Thursday, and 10-5 Friday – Sunday.  For more information, call 609-275-2897.


Donna Senopoulos
Plainsboro Public Library