2016年05月01日

A sketch of the experience of feeling a small gallery as a cathedral and paintings as holy light

I had seen many exhibition at gallery αM and some of them were unforgettable ones.
However, I had not realized that the gallery space was so interesting until I saw the solo exhibition of Jun Koshino there.

The space of Gallery αM is a little bit larger than an average gallery in Tokyo, but it is not as large as a museum room. The room is narrow and the ceiling is relatively high.
The most distinguishing feature of the room is that there are six pillars along the both wall. By the pillars, the room is divided into four parts. You can overlook the whole room because the pillars stand near each wall, but the pillars block the line of sight when you see paintings on a wall from a different part of the room.
Some artists had used the feature of the room well for their installation, but I had never seen one who did more effective than Koshino did.

The works of Koshino were minimal paintings, and each of them had only one color. The paintings size is small. It is about the same size as a book, but the depth is relatively thick. They looked like some kind of equipment on the wall than a painting.
However, we can recognize them as paintings through their color. The color was printed on transparent acrylic plates by silkscreen several times. They were very vivid, and no equipment on a wall has such a vivid color. Actually, they were too vivid as a painting. I felt as if they were glowing.

In spite of the uniqueness, I felt the Koshino’s real work was not the objects. His real canvas was the gallery room itself.
Koshino exhibited a pair of the paintings between the pillars, and each pair consisted of one to three paintings. They were displayed on higher place of the wall than usual. Each pair was on a different height, but I didn’t feel strange about it because I couldn’t see the next pair when I saw a pair. As I described before, the pillars blocked my eyes from a different part of the room.

Because of the high position and the small size of the paintings, I also saw the architecture of the room when I saw the paintings.
At the moment, I realized how interesting this space was.
The room has a beam ceiling. The curves of the beams produced a classical atmosphere.
Of course it is far from a genuine classical style architecture. It’s indeed a room in the basement of an old multi-tenant building in Tokyo Shitamachi. It usually looks shabby rather than classical.

However, the Koshino’s installation changed everything.
The display was simple and minimum. I think it was the most minimum display I have seen in that place. At the same time, it was the most drastic transfiguration I have ever seen there.
The display was serene and tense. If a painting were moved slightly, the balance will be ruined. The minimum elements rule the whole space in every inch.
As I walked through the room, paintings which were hidden behind the pillars appeared one after another. I saw unnatural vivid colored rectangular boxes on the wall. The appearance was dramatic. I felt I was seeing colors in itself. They looked sublime.

At the time, I felt the gallery space as a sacred place like a church. Despite its small size and simple appearance, the room reminded me of a cathedral. The paintings which were displayed at high place on the wall began to look like windows of church. The color of them reminded me of holy light coming through a stained glass.
It was a superb experience.

In that sense, Koshino’s works reminded me of the origin of paintings in the pre-modern era.
As I told before, his painting itself doesn’t look a painting very much. On the other hand, they do not resemble any objects in this world except for paintings. After all, we have no other word but paintings for describing them.
It's obvious that nothing else except for paintings could give me such a feeling.



「トランス/リアル−非実体的美術の可能性 vol.1 越野潤」
gallery αM(2016年 4月9日〜5月14日)
http://gallery-alpham.com/exhibition/2016_1/

posted by 3 at 17:01| Diary