kodama Gallery
ignore your perspective 27

Press Release

Kodama Gallery Tokyo is pleased to announce the opening of exhibition "Kodama Gallery Collection - ignore your perspective 27, Notion of Painting #2 Anti-Lyrical Painting" from August 23rd to September 27th, 2014. "Notion of painting" is a series of exhibition to explore the ways of painting as a part of Kodama’s collection show, "ignore your perspective". For this time, it introduces the work by 6 artists, Kaoru Okubo, Kohei Kajihara, Mamoru Sakagawa, Akira Takaishi, Hiro Tsuchiya and Torawo Nakagawa whose work seemingly tells narratives yet in fact keeps distance from certain sentimental lyricism.
Okubo paints human body as his motif. He captures the density of human flesh with scribble like strong brush strokes. Using the images he finds in magazines, internet, or sometime his self-portrait, Okubo first studies his motif in drawing repeatedly. What’s interesting here is that this process is not simply a study for Okubo, but as equally important as complete works. Because the artist captures everything - the presence, density and rawness of the body in these drawings. And what he does on the canvas is to reproduce the outcome of the drawings. Leaving the sense of devotion and emotions in the drawings, Okubo extracts the essence of these elements on canvas. With this almost like a filtering process and an objective approach, he gains the eye of a third-person, neither the artist’s nor the viewers’. When we encounter his painting, we are to see the naked bodies through the third person’s eyes.
Kajihara’s strength is to capture his motifs quickly with his brisk brushwork and enigmatic composition that is as if a scene from one’s dream. As he calls his painting “Flashback” and “Thrashing image”, it feels it captures a moment with one big stroke. Like grasping countless visions that come and go in his mind and thrashing them on canvas with no hesitation. Having no room for a consideration or sentiment before putting his brush on canvas, his image is almost like a natural phenomenon. It is not about narratives but it exists. We as a viewer can only embrace its existence.
Sakagawa has been exploring his art form from painting bodies of bodybuilders in order to look into texture of human “skin” and “flesh” to drawings the images of blood vessels and our nerve system tangled with noodles. And then, he made a kind of painting in which he mashes up the image of dolls and toys, using plastic wraps before the paints become dry, so that it creates marble-pattern surface. Finally the tapestry of the miracles from the Bible. Despite his journey in expression, there is something in common to his art. That is how to capture the texture of things. And the texture is defined by what viewers find sense of “life” intuitively. Sensual texture created by melted wax or glossy medium, a texture reminding us of gauze over scars… Whether depicting toys or anecdotes from the Bible, his pursuit for texture is what’s signature to Sakagwa’s work. In fact, ironically the more materialistic his motif is, the more sense of physical immediacy we feel from the motif.
Takaishi’s work, such as the series of paintings in “Someone like Champollion” (2013, Kodama Gallery / Tokyo), may appear to be a scene from one’s dream, something absurd. However, being surrealistic or enigmatic is not his aim. He always works with metaphor and his painting is carefully constructed around his theme. For example, the snake-like line which often appears in his work is painted first on canvas in order to give a ground to the work. Suppose new canvas is the beginning of the world, his action can be interpreted as providing logos to the world. The first entity, the first idea, the first language or the first reference of the world. The interpretation is open to the viewers. It could be what determines the perspective on the canvas, or it could even be not a line but a rope, or a thread. For some cases, it is possible to be read as an alphabet and be part of a text. And depending on how you see it, the scale of things around it changes relatively. With this highly metaphorical gesture, Takaishi opens a door to another world for us.
With a view when you are falling unconscious, execution chambers, and mythical scene of the Creation, Tsuchiya deals with the theme of life and death. Despite the weight of his theme, there is no strong sense of drama or sentiment in his work. That’s because what the artists is interested in is not the joy of living nor fear of death, but the point of demarcation between life and death. What is it that we see at our deathbed while our visibility becomes dimmer? Discerning moments where people can’t normally see with one’s own eyes, Tsuchiya’s attempt coincides with a possibility of painting. This his debut at Kodama Gallery.
Due to his dramatic brushstroke and use of colors, Nakagawa’s work may seem quite lyrical. But he could be the least lyrical artist among the six. Triggered by canvas stains or grain of wood, Nakagawa begins moving his brush involuntarily. Then, an outcome of one act leads to another - following the stream of unconsciousness. He even purposely chooses colors that he wouldn’t normally choose otherwise, so that his painting leads him to something unexpected. Nakagawa’s auto painting is his work but distant from his conscious intension, making it possible for viewers to see anything they associate with the image. His anonymous painting can be a landscape or portrait depending on who sees it.
It is almost natural that viewers are tempted to withdraw stories from their seemingly lyrical images. However, this exhibition introduces the works in which these dramatic aspects are the result of highly objective artistic approaches. Painting doesn’t have to be only lyrical or non-lyrical. The work of the 6 artists are neither realistic nor romantic, each exploring new way of painting.

Title: ignore your perspective 27 "About Anti-Lyrical Painting"
Artist: Kaoru Okubo, Kohei Kajihara, Mamoru Sakagawa, Akira Takaishi, Hiro Tsuchiya, Torawo Nakagawa
Date: August 23 - September 27
Open: 11:00 - 19:00, Tue. - Sat.

Kodama Gallery | Tokyo
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