Nicholas Kirsten-Honshin’s art and poetry are a reflection of his experience with ancient Eastern spiritual practices and the philosophies of Christianity, Tibetan Buddhism, Zen Buddhism, and ancient Mesoamerican cultures. His work is a mythic amalgamation of ancient healing practices and the present trends in spirituality, science, and nature, resulting in a true fusion of East and West.
His art is an expression of his personal journey, a mythic amalgamation of ancient healing symbols, practices, and present trends in spirituality, science and nature. Profoundly influenced by the Northwest Mystic School, a legacy passed to him by his father Daiensai Kuden Bonseki Dojin and the other acclaimed artists of this period whose work he grew up surrounded by, Honshin sees art as a form of spiritual quest.
Using painting, printmaking, sculpture, jewelry, and poetry as tools, Honshin’s intention is to communicate the unity of consciousness and life of all things in the universe. The message is from a pure heart – reflected in the grace and humble honor of his painter’s name “Honshin” which means the original mind is the heart. This revered name was bestowed by his father Daiensai Kuden Bonseki Dojin, a renowned artist and ordained Buddhist Monk, after the approval of two Zen Masters in Japan.
Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, Honshin started painting in his father’s studio at the age of five. By the age of 17, gifted both in the arts and the sciences, he made the choice to dedicate himself to art and the energies of creativity through his painting and poetry.
At the University of Washington, Honshin studied Tibetan Buddhist scriptures, art, and language. He then traveled for more than a decade, often living in isolation and seclusion in wilderness areas of the Southwest, continuing to paint, study, and meditate – one of his first series of paintings celebrated art and math through geometry and the ancient way of the mandala.
Honshin has won international recognition for his art and poetry, which serve as a mirror for the healing beauty and interconnectedness of all peoples and cultures in the universe.