Eternity in a moment

I saw Tashiro Kazutomo's photograph exhibition "椿の街 Vol.3” at photographers' gallery yesterday. The series of "椿の街” was the works he had been engaged in before he undertook the series of "はまゆりの頃に" which he shot the people whom he met in Tohoku region after The Great East Japan Earthquake.
"はまゆりの頃に" was the work which I met Tashiro's photographs for the first time. Until now, I had thought "はまゆりの頃に" was a special work for him because the theme, The Great East Japan Earthquake Disaster, was a very rare event.
However, in this exhibition, I realized that Tashiro has been a photographer who has an enormous viewpoint already before "はまゆりの頃に". The excellent point of the work was the virtue he had originally. Obviously, the success of the work was based on a consistency of his own style.

The work of "椿の街” is portraits of people whom Tashiro met in north of Kyushu, where he comes from, and south of South Korea which locates on the opposite side of north of Kyushu across the straits.
The style of the work is the same as the style of "はまゆりの頃に". Each photograph has one person who stands facing the camera. The composition of every photographs is almost same. Every snap were taken on a street, so you can see the scenery of the place on their background.

In the exhibition, the photographs that were taken in Kyushu side and the photographs that were taken in Korean side were mixed. Therefore, I sometimes could not recognize the side on which a picture was taken. Mostly, I barely could recognize it from scenery of background, especially letters on a signboard or a number plate of a car.
On the other hand, I could easily distinguish the nationality of some people from their looks. The resemblance and difference between Japanese and Korean are very odd.

When I saw the various faces in the pictures, it occurred to me that I was seeing not only the faces of several people but also the enormous lineage which was descended for thousands or ten thousands years in the region.
No need to mention Nihon-shoki or something, as we all know Japan and Korean Peninsula had a close relationship for thousands years, and of course our ancestor originally immigrated from the continent in ancient times. It is no doubt that the resemblance and difference of their faces are the results of the thousands or ten thousands years’ history.
At the same time, I could recognize the resemblance and difference not only in people's face but also in their fashion of clothes and in the streetscape of background. I think the resemblance and difference is result from the contemporaneousness. So, you could find two kind of waves of time in the portraits.

The fact remind me that one person is not only a single person but also a result of blood of thousands of ancestors and the world he/she lives. A person is not a person oneself but also a part that constitutes vast history and world. I had understood it in theory, but Tashiro's work showed it evidently.
On the other hand, as always, the people in the Tashiro's photographs showed strong personality. They looked an unmistakable unique individual.
That is to say, they existed as a unique individual and as a symbol of the history of the region at the same time. Of course actually, we human are existing like that, as a unique individual and as a part of something vast simultaneously. Tashiro's work reminds us of the fact.

It is similar to the way of seeing flowers. We see a flower as a unique flower and as a species at the same time. We can love a species of flower through a particular one flower. It may be no coincidence that both Tashiro's recent works have flower names on their titles.

I consider the way of seeing the whole through the parts is the essence of Tashiro's works. The important point is that it includes the perception of the limits.
Needless to say, we can't know real personality of the people who stands in the Tashiro's photographs. We can't know their real lives neither.
Needless to say, we can't see the whole history of the region from the photographs. We can't see all people who lives in the place and all people who lived there before.
The limits relates to the limits of our lives. We can only live our own lives. We can live one hundred years at the very most. We can't live other life and we can't live in another era. We can't understand others completely even if we live with them throughout life.

I am sure that Tashiro knows the limits deeply more than anyone. He must know that the encounter with a model accounts for only a brief part of his/her whole life time. He knows that a photograph can only record a hundredth of a second of the brief time. They can show completely different looks in the next moment. It also is the essence of photography.
However, I think it is the limits that makes Tashiro's works lively. Though knowing the limits, he tries to meet many people as possible. Though knowing the limits, he tries to make the each encounter into the better one. Though knowing the limits, he tries to make the moment into the best one.
His extraordinary effort against impossibility reminds me some kind of a prayer.

He tries to take various people's portraits as possible. In the exhibition, we can see very various people, from a young girl to an old lady, from a strong young guy with scary face to an old man who seems to be difficult.
Considering accuracy of statistics, it is better to collect more various kind of people for seeing the history of the place from their portraits. However, the value of the diversity of Tashiro's portraits is completely different from the one of statistics in sociology.
In the Tashiro's portraits, we can see his fair attitude against the people from the diversity, and through the attitude, we can see his belief and positiveness of possibility of seeing the vast whole from the parts. That is the point.

Seeing the people who is standing with impressive presence in the Tashiro's photographs, we can also have the belief and positiveness that we can see an eternity in a moment. Tashiro's extraordinary try and his works make us believe that we are able to see the infinity in the limited part.
I think that it is the reason why I always get a feeling of hope when I see Tashiro's photographs.

「田代一倫  椿の街 Vol.3」
photographers' gallery + kula photo gallery(2015年7月23日〜8月26日)

posted by 3 at 22:33| Diary
























posted by 3 at 18:09| 日記


The most uninteresting thing of Takamatsu Jiro's works

I saw the exhibition of「高松次郎ミステリーズ」at The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. In spite of growing the reputation of Takamatsu Jiro in recent years, I hadn't thought his works interesting so much. I expected this exhibition would teach me the appeal of his works, but on the contrary, it was curated as if it intended to intensify my dislike for his works.

The weakest point of Takamatsu's works I think is the tendency that his works tend to look like an illustration of the explanation when he (or someone) puts the words of explanation on them. The more he puts the words of explanation, the more they look like an illustration of explanation. The works of ≪影≫ series, that is the one with the most impressive visual images in Takamatsu's works, is good sample for that. Obviously, they become dull when they are added the words of explanation.
This was what this exhibition did. They considered Takamatsu's works were based on his deep philosophical thoughts, and tried to explain the works along them. I think that is the most effective method to make Takamatsu's works look boring.

I think the Takamatsu's essential nature was an image maker. He had a distinguished talent for creating striking images.
However, his talent as an image maker tends to make his works look as graphic works that are distinguished but shallow. I consider it was his nature as an image maker that required the philosophical thoughts of his works. He needed them for making his works look as art works. The order was the reverse.

It might be due to his talent for creating striking images that his works tend to look like the illustration of explanation. They tended to look like the illustration for something essentially.
I think Takamatsu himself was aware of the weakness in some degree. If there is something that I take some interest in Takamatsu's works, it is to find his struggle against the limit of his ability.
In fact, we can see his effort to overcome the weakness in some of his works around 1970, for example the work of『石と数字(1969)』 which was made from his action of writing numbers on stones on a riverside. In that work, neither his action nor the stones become the illustration of the explanation, because we can find the explanation of this works not outside of the work but inside of his action itself.
And the summits of his effort to overcome the limit are the works of 『日本語の文字(1970)』and 『英語の単語(1970)』, or ≪この七つの文字≫ and ≪THESE THREE WORDS≫. In these works, the visual images and the words became one. I think it was the peak of his entire works. He had reached something at this point.

After reaching the summits, Takamatsu began paintings. It is difficult to interpret Takamatsu's painting works of his later years.
My view is this. In the beginning, his words and thoughts were the mere explanations of his works. The relation between the words and the images was an accessory one. However, through the struggle to overcome the limit, he bridged the gap between the words and images and they united into one at the works of ≪この七つの文字≫ and ≪THESE THREE WORDS≫. He reached the peak of something at this point.
After that, I think that he began to try to think by painting. He might have tried to enter a new phase of relationship between words and images. In that try, the words of explanation were not the things that existed outside of the works in advance, but they were the things that he would find through painting the works. It was not an uncommon thing but an common act that every painters are doing ordinarily. However, the process he could reach the state was uncommon and interesting.

The view of the curators of this exhibition was contrary. They emphasized the consistency of his works. (It was reflected in the design of the floor plan of the exhibition.) They said the Takamatsu's paintings are different from the common paintings. They brought the book of Lao-tze from the Takamatsu's book shelf and explained his paintings were based on his thought that was affected by Lao-tze. I think it was the most boring way of seeing his paintings. In that view, the paintings go back to the illustration of the thoughts. The curators obviously can't see the flow of his works.
Of course, the view could be the explanation of the reason why the Takamatsu's paintings are boring. I think that the reason is because he could not get away from the thinking with words completely. However, if there is something that I take some interest in Takamatsu's paintings, it is to find his struggle against the limit of his ability in them.

I admit that Takamatsu was a distinguished artist. I admit that he had a splendid talent for making striking images and his nature as an artist was unique.
However, I don't think what he thought was so unique. It's true that they look profound and difficult, but I don't think they are so original compared with his works themselves. If I gave the most uninteresting thing of Takamatsu's works, it is his thoughts.
Therefore, hypothesizing that Takamatsu's works are based on the deep philosophical thoughts that are as mysterious as we hardly understand and trying to see the works through searching for the answer of the mysteries is the worst way of seeing his works. And I think that is the reason why this exhibition was boring.


posted by 3 at 18:01| Diary


Books without words

The first exhibition I saw this year was「イエラ・マリ展‐字のない絵本の世界」at Itabashi Art Museum. It was a wonderful exhibition, so I think it will be a good year for me.
In the exhibition, I enjoyed the Iela Mari's elaborate drawing skill from the original illustrations of her picture books. Nowadays, we tend to use computer graphic softwares to draw such kind of illustration. After all, some of them are simple colored circles. They look as exact as a circle that is drawn by computer, but they are never the same as the one. Unlike a circle drawn by computer, the Mari's hand drawn circles include vast information. We can sense it even from the printed books. I think picture book without words is the best media for recognizing the kind of excellence of her illustrations.

In the exhibition, I could see not only Mari's picture books but also many others' picture books without words in the world: from the classics, for example Bruno Murari, Anno Mitsumasa, Dick Bruna, Edward Gorey, Lynd Ward and so on, to many fantastic picture books that I had never seen. I wanted to bring all the books back to my home. It was like a treasure land.
Books without words are the special things for me. When I was a kid, from 12 to 15 years old, I lived in Milan because of my father's business. Owing to lack of language skill, I could not read any Italian books in spite of the fact that I was very fond of books. (Language ability have always been the weak point in my life.) However, one day I found a picture book that had no words. There were quite a few cartoons and picture books without words in bookstores in Milan. Although I didn't read the Iela Mari's picture books, I was really into the world of the wordless books. My most favorite artist in those days was Guillermo Mordillo. His book was also featured in this exhibition.

I can't imagine any other media that is able to include such vast world like the books without words. It is as limitless as the universe. I consider it comes from the feature of book. Neither silent films nor a piece of picture is comparable to it. Only the books without words can hold such a limitless possibility. They look like the existence that transcends the laws of this world.
Today, we are living in the complicated world. In our time, I consider it is very important to avoid becoming a fundamentalist, because there are so many persons who believe different kind of creed. One firmly believes that freedom of expression should be respected above all else, but the other believes the religious faith overwhelms it. It is difficult to find a settlement when different creeds conflict. It goes without saying that violence is the worst solution. On the other hand, insisting on own creed will not reach any solution. It is very difficult to keep own faith with respecting others' faith. Therefore our world is filled with the huge amount of meaningless violence and hates.
In such a situation, I think only the things like the books without words might be able to solve the conflicts. This idea has no foundation, but I sensed it when I saw the Iela Mari's and others' picture books without words.

「イエラ・マリ展 ‐ 字のない絵本の世界」

posted by 3 at 19:08| Diary


TOP10 of the exhibitions I saw in 2014

As usual, this is the ranking based on the strength of the impression I got.
It means this is nothing but a diary.


2位:「パランプセスト―重ね書きされた記憶/記憶の重ね書き vol.4 小林耕平」gallery αM(10-11月)URL
3位:「村越としや写真展 火の粉は風に舞い上がる」吉祥寺美術館(9-11月)URL
6位:「第6回恵比寿映像祭 トゥルー・カラーズ」東京都写真美術館(2月)URL
8位:「オルセー美術館展 印象派の誕生」国立新美術館(7-10月)URL
9位:「岩熊力也展 weight」コバヤシ画廊(1月)で見た映像作品《ハヤサスラヒメ》
10位:「ディスカバー、ディスカバー・ジャパン 「遠く」へ行きたい」東京ステーションギャラリー(9-11月)URL

The other impressive exhibitions(seen order)

・「アンディ・ウォーホル展 永遠の15分」森美術館(2-5月)URL
・「ヴォルフガング・ティルマンス Affinity」WAKO WORKS OF ART(1-3月)URL
・「さわひらき Under the Box, Beyond the Bounds」東京オペラシティアートギャラリー(1-3月)URL
・「柳瀬正夢 1900-1945 時代の光と影を描く」神奈川県立近代美術館葉山(2-3月)URL
・「高柳恵里 油断」上野の森美術館ギャラリー(3月)
・「山岡敏明個展 グチック形態学」ギャラリーハシモト(3-4月)
・「北島敬三“UNTITLED RECORDS”展 Vol.1、Vol.2、Vol.3」photographer's gallery(3-4、7-8、10-11月)URL URL URL
・「所蔵作品展 花」&「所蔵作品展 こども+おとな工芸館 もようわくわく」東京国立近代美術館工芸館(3-6、6-8月)URL URL
・「桑原甲子雄の写真 トーキョー・スケッチ60年」世田谷美術館(4-6月)URL
・「平成26年度第2回所蔵作品展 MOMATコレクション」東京国立近代美術館(6-8月)の第10室の展示 URL
・「不思議な動き キネティック・アート展」損保ジャパン東郷青児美術館(7-8月)URL
・「泥象 鈴木治の世界」東京ステーションギャラリー(7-8月)URL
・「フィオナ・タン まなざしの詩学」東京都写真美術館(7-9月)URL
・「『福田尚代作品集 2001-2013』出版記念展」小出由紀子事務所(11-12月)URL

Bad impression(dare to select)




I found Ogawa Senyo's name for the first time in early summer of this year. It was when I saw one of his bunjin-ga paintings in「平成26年度第2回所蔵作品展 MOMATコレクション」at The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. Actually, I had seen his sketches in the exhibition of「スケッチブックの使い方」at Meguro Museum of Art in 2011, but I didn't memorized his name at that time.
I became fond of his work immediately, so I tried to check out him. I saw an old book of his paintings at a library and I was more fascinated by his works. (I bought the book at a secondhand bookstore on internet later.)
When I was searching Senyo's name on internet, I came across the news that his solo exhibition would be held in Fukushima Prefectural Museum of Art in this autumn. Senyo had not been much famous artist, so this would be his first solo exhibition at a museum.
I was astonished about the chance that I could see his entire works so soon since I got interest in him. I considered this was the destiny. Therefore, I made up my mind I should never miss it, even though usually I seldom go to such a distant place.
After that, I got the information that same exhibition will be held in Tokyo next year, but I did not change my mind. I never travel far unless such a thing happens, so this was a rare case. Actually this was the first time I went to the Tohoku region.
Eventually, the decision was right. It was a splendid exhibition, and the exhibition gallery was approximately three times larger than the gallery of museum where the same exhibition is scheduled to be held in Tokyo. I guess that the exhibition in Tokyo will become the totally different one.
If I mention about dissatisfaction point of this exhibition, I thought that the number of bunjin-ga paintings was few relatively, on the other hand, the ratio of works of the early era seemed a little large. I considered the bunjin-ga paintings of his latter years as Senyo's masterpiece, so I wanted to see them as more as possible.
However, there was the thing that I was able to find only in this composition. That was the consistency through his life as a painter. He was the painter who always enjoyed painting pictures. I could discover the pleasure of painting pictures from any type and any era of his works. That is to say, he could have kept the fresh feeling for painting a picture all his life. I have never seen such a strong stability in other artists. That's what I was most impressed with in this exhibition.

○「パランプセスト―重ね書きされた記憶/記憶の重ね書き vol.4 小林耕平」

It may be incorrect because I have not seen all of Kobayashi Kohei's works, though my view of what he had been doing through his works is as follows.
After the works of monochrome video by surveillance camera, when Kobayashi began to make colored video works that filmed motion of objects in the mid-'00s, I considered that he was trying to convey a thing that is never conveyed to another person. For example, you can never convey a sight you are looking at to another person literally. Expressions about what you are looking at are not identical with what you are looking at. The two always have a difference even if you use any method or any device. No one in the world can convey it. I considered that Kobayashi was trying to convey such a thing through his works.
If he had been trying that, at least, it was amazing that he could convey to me what he was trying for only through the videos. However, it was the fact that what he tried to really convey had not conveyed, yet. In that sense, it was a failure. Hence, my opinion to his work was confused. I could not judge whether I should say his work was interesting or not. For me, suspending the judgment was most suitable attitude to his works.
After that, kobayashi's works was getting complicated steadily. He began to appear on his own works and performed incomprehensible gestures with daily goods. At that point, my view of his works had not changed. I considered that he was still trying to convey the thing which was impossible to convey. He seemed to be trying hard to accomplish it with various way. I thought the trying itself were interesting, but the fact that the trying had not accomplished was still unchanged. The impossible thing was impossible, yet. So, my suspending the judgment of his works also was unchanged. I still could not say whether it was interesting or not.
My confusion plunged into a new stage when another person appeared in kobayashi's works. His name was Yamamoto. On the video, they had incomprehensible conversations about kobayashi's works smoothly. It seemed as if they could communicate with each other. I was astonished because it meant that the thing which was impossible to convey was conveyed to Yamamoto. The fact told that I could not understand what Kobayashi was tying to convey was not because it was the thing which was impossible to convey but just because I was an idiot. Therefore, I felt I was alienated from their conversation.
I think this might be a special feature of kobayashi's works. When I see someone (who mostly seems to be an elite of Contemporary Art or a pedantic person) praises for kobayashi's works passionately, I always feel as if I am told that I am a idiot. That is the same feeling I had received from the conversation between Kobayashi and Yamamoto. Still, for the former, I can comfort myself with thinking the persons who praise kobayashi's works believe only in themselves that they can understand it. However, when it happens in kobayashi's works, I can do nothing but admit that they are able to communicate. It meant that my view of kobayashi's works was mistake fundamentally. Hence, my judgment of his works became more unstable.

The above was my view of kobayashi's works before seeing this exhibition, and I thought kobayashi's works had advanced drastically this time.
The biggest change was that other persons appeared in his videos besides Kobayashi and Yamamoto. Kobayashi and Yamamoto took a role of host, and they tried to make other guests invisible. Therefore they were functioning as a "medium." I think it was the right way. I felt that they functioned in the right way at last.
Their routine conversation, that Kobayashi said to Yamamoto "Hey Yamamoto, I brought such a thing today" and took bizarre objects out every time, looked like a comedy show. The combination of them was similar to a parody of the stereotype of a detective and his buddy, like Poirot and Hastings or Holmes and Watson, or a mad scientist and his assistant. I think it was the right way, too. In a detective story, genuine protagonists ought to be criminals and victims of the crimes. The role of a detective and his buddy is revealing the hidden relationship among them as a "medium." I think it is the similar role of Kobayashi and Yamamoto in the works.
I am sure that looking like a comedy was also the right way for the works. The existence of a protagonist of comedy transforms his surrounding. As a trickster who is free from the common sense, a protagonist of comedy destroys the people's fixed ideas and changes their eyes. This is just the role of Kobayashi.
As for technical side, I thought that the camera work of the videos was very effective. It seemed like an amateur's shooting, and the amateur-like restless camera work was very good. We are apt to try to look for the meaning of the framing when a fixed camera or the author Kobayashi himself shot the video. However, the amateur-like camera work showed the role of Kobayashi and Yamamoto as a "medium" obviously.
The locations of shooting were also seemed to contribute to the success. The Kobayashi previous works' locations, like empty land in suburb where no one is or gallery's white cube room, tended to focus our attention on the meaning of the Kobayashi's acts. In contrast, the locations he chose this time were the tourist spots in Tokyo, and those places were crowded with a lot of people. Such a situation emphasized their role as a "medium" that transforms the surrounding.
I should not forget to mention the effectiveness of the installation. I think that was carefully calculated, and it worked well. For example, when I saw Kobayashi's works in his solo exhibition at YAMAMOTO GENDAI in 2012, I thought that his handmade objects themselves looked like "the works." I am sure that it was not his intention. In contrast, in this exhibition they looked like a kind of "symbol." I considered that they also were functioning in the right way.
The theme "an invisible man" also was effective for this exhibition. The installation was constituted with several videos, and their sounds were mixed with in the room. In the confusion of various sounds and flickering of the videos' lights, I had some moments that I felt as if there was really an invisible man in the gloomy room. It was a strange feeling.
I could not judge whether the thing that is never conveyed was conveyed or not in this exhibition. However, the feeling I got from this exhibition was the thing that I had never known. I felt that I saw the thing that I had never seen before. And this time, my judgment of his works became stable. I am sure it was one of the most outstanding exhibition of Contemporary Art today.

○「村越としや写真展 火の粉は風に舞い上がる」

When I saw Murakoshi Toshiya's photographs for the first time, I felt they were fairly good photographs but I could not get any particular impressions from them. I agreed with they were fine-looking black and white photographs, so I enjoyed seeing them to some extent. However, at the same time, I had some doubts because I could not catch a certain meaning of shooting today's scenery with such a classic style. The feeling to his photographs had not been changed even when I saw the photographs that was shot in his birthplace Fukushima after the Great East Japan Earthquake and the nuclear accident.
For that reason I had not expected so much when I heard about the news that his solo exhibition would be held at Kichijoji Art Museum. After hesitating, finally I dashed into the exhibition at final day.
When I saw the exhibition, I was relieved from the bottom of my heart that I had not missed it. It was a great exhibition. I had not been able to imagine that such a vast world could be appeared in such a small gallery of Kichijoji Art Museum. I had seen some exhibitions that succeeded in making a large world with the effect of installation in art museum galleries this year, for example「第6回恵比寿映像祭 トゥルー・カラーズ」at Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography and「さわひらき Under the Box, Beyond the Bounds」at Tokyo Opera City Art Gallary. Although those art museums are much larger than Kichijoji Art Museum, I felt like the world Murakoshi had made was as large as them, or even larger.
In this exhibition, you could see the photographs that he shot in Fukushima after the nuclear accident. Though, there was no explanation about the photographs in the gallery. I think it was the very right choice that he vanished every words from the gallery. I was overwhelmed by the strength of absence of words.
The installation had been carefully planned, so I felt as if I were reading a novel when I went around the exhibition. In addition, the experience resembled a long journey. I felt like as if it was the travel through the netherworld like Dante's journey in Divine Comedy. Then, a shiver ran down my spine when I realized the fact that "the netherworld" in these photographs actually exists in this world.


This had been the most expected exhibition this year, and eventually, it was more wonderful than I had expected. It was the first exhibition of Felix Vallotton in Japan, and I think that it will be memorized as a historic one.
The gallery of Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum was suitable for Vallotton's works. It was interesting for me that the Vallotton paintings looked well-matched for the museum's imitation fireplace, in contrast to the Chardin paintings that had never been suited for it when I had seen them at the same place two years ago.
If I could see an exhibition of this level once a year, what a luxurious life it would be!


My grandfather was a chaser of sword-guards. I heard it from my mother when I was a kid, and I thought that it was ridiculous that he had tried to make a living by making sword-guards after the Meiji period when samurai had already disappeared. I thought that I was able to understood why my grandfather had been in poverty.
Nowadays, I don't think it's ridiculous that someone bets one's life to making sword-guards. On the contrary, I think such a way of life is cool. Why do I think it's cool? It is not because the person makes respectable traditional art works. Rather, it's because the person would try to bet one's life to useless things.
I used to think that the meaning, or raison d'etre, of traditional art is protecting worthy techniques from extermination, but it was misunderstanding. The way of thinking that we need to protect techniques of traditional art from extermination because they are useful for society is tainted by modernism. Rather, they have to be protected because they are useless for modern life. Handing down itself is the value of Tradition. The true value exists in the behavior.
In this world, there are things that can only arise from useless thing. However, it is difficult for human to do a thing without a reason, especially if you would bet your life for it. We are the creature that can't escape from rationality to the end.
Tradition can be a reason, or an excuse, at the situation. I think it might be the real value of Tradition. In the first place, Kogei is the art that consists of an excuse. In my opinion, the essence of Kogei is the fact that they are at once art works and articles of utility. In other words, the difference between Kogei and Fine Art is presence or absence of utility. However in that, the "utility" is an excuse basically. Nobody really use a living national treasure making bowl for everyday meal. Most of the time, they are made not for using but for seeing. In other words, they are made for beauty.
However, making beautiful things for enjoying beauty is a rational behavior. And a beauty within rationality has a limit. Therefore, in order to exceed the limit, we have to insist obstinately that thay are made for using. When using is the top priority of the objects, beauty is an addition. In that situation, we consider that it is ridiculous that a person would bet his life to pursuing beauty because that is merely a secondary thing. This is the very reason that Kogei needs "utility" as a formality. In other words, it means that the most important thing of Kogei exists only out of rationality.
In this exhibition, I could find that the concept of Tradition could be the most powerful excuse for a person who devotes oneself to pursuing an irrational thing. It can be solid basis for the creation. I think that it is much difficult for an artist of Fine Art to get such solid basis. Though, there is a reason that artists of traditional Kogei need such a strong basis.
I saw an interview video at the exhibition. In the video, a potter, who succeeded the master name which had been passed down from generation to generation for 400 years, said he had pursued a peculiar red all his life. He said that the pursuing had been handed down from his predecessors, and it would not be completed during his era. It would be passed down to his successor.
Of course it looks a ridiculous thing that a potter clan had devoted their lives to making a peculiar red of ceramics for hundreds of years. However, there is the thing that nothing but such a way can create it. That is something beyond the value of this world.
I could see such a thing in this exhibition. Everyone is astonished by the ultimate craftsmanship of their works, but it is only surface. The soul of their works lurked under the superhuman craftsmanship. It was beyond forms. I felt like it was a kind of philosophy. That is the thing not easy to be realized normally. However, this exhibition gave a good opportunity to find it in spite of the popular taste one.
On the other hand, some might criticize their works as far from the actuality, like I regarded my grandfather's job as ridiculous. I can understand such a opinion to a certain degree. I agree half of it. I was impressed deeply by their work truly, but at the same time, I felt something that I could not swallow completely remained.
Nevertheless, it is true that I envied them a little that because they had such a strong basis like Tradition for pursuing irrational things.

○「第6回恵比寿映像祭 トゥルー・カラーズ」

The exhibition of 恵比寿映像祭 is good every year. Above all, this year's exhibition was particularly splendid. The works made the theme of the exhibition stable, and the theme enhanced the works. I consider it was like a model of good exhibition.
The feeling as if I had traveled to every corner of the world still remains on me. (I wrote the details on Twitter. )


I had not known that Giorgio de Chirico's paintings are so interesting. Especially, Neo Metafisica paintings are too interesting. In spite of kitsch, they have true aura of painting. It's very strange.
This year I saw several original works of Paul Noble at last in the exhibition of「プライベート・ユートピア」at Tokyo Station Gallery. I guess that he was influenced by de Chirico. Is it correct?

○「オルセー美術館展 印象派の誕生」

I used to hate the exhibitions which are titled as「○○美術館展」, because in general they are crowded as hell and the curations are poor as a paper tiger. However, although being crowded as hell has not changed, as concerns the curation, sometimes I run across the good one these days.
Above all, this exhibition was superior by far. Especially the room that exhibited the landscape paintings which the Impressionists, Pissarro, Cezanne, Sisley, Monet and Renoir, had painted in 1870's was really overwhelming. I could distinguish each personality and essence of them well.
It was good that not only the Impressionists' paintings but also the works of academic painters of the same era were exhibited together. As a result I could image how the Impressionists' works had been looked in that era.
I could learn a lot in this exhibition.

○「岩熊力也展 weight」で見た映像作品《ハヤサスラヒメ》

I did not think that the solo exhibition of Iwakuma Rikiya at Kobayashi Gallery was a splendid one. I thought some works were not so good and the installation was a little messy.
However, one of his works enthralled me. It was the oil painting animation which was titled《ハヤサスラヒメ》.
The theme of the animation was the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. I thought the depiction of the animation was a little too sentimental and the editing was not so sophisticated. However, it was the first time I could feel sympathy for a painter's work that dealt with the Great Earthquake as a theme.
In the animation, he synchronized the public great disaster with personal memories. When I saw it, I thought it was just what I had felt in those days. I had felt as if the disaster had happened as a result of my sin. The animation depicted such a vague feeling well.
I felt that the author had made himself defenseless in the work, and I consider it was the factor of success. It seemed a little too defenseless, but it brought the good result in the end.
On the other hand, I was not impressed so much by his other works that were historical people portraits painted on white dresses, because I felt that he had created them by more theory than heart. I even felt them a little pedantic. I think they lacked something《ハヤサスラヒメ》had.

○「ディスカバー、ディスカバー・ジャパン 「遠く」へ行きたい」

This exhibition consisted of two floors. The upper floor was very lively. The gallery was filled with plenty of posters and goods of the Discover Japan campaign. The TV Commercial of the campaign was being played without a break, and I almost went crazy by being forced to listen to the CM song endlessly.
Every catch phrase on the posters made me laugh because they were outdated and silly. However, after laughing, I shuddered because I had realized that they were no different from advertising today at all. We are definitely still surrounded by such silly phrases.
When we notice it, we understand that this display might be a caricature of today's world. The method to urge people to go to one direction without thinking has not changed. If you realized that, you would notice the resemblance between the main catch phrase of the campaign「美しい日本と私」and the current prime minister Abe Shinzo's slogan「美しい国」.
I thought it was interesting that this exhibition depicted the era, 70's in Japan, as a kind of dystopia. I have seen several exhibition that review Japan's postwar era in recent years. Most of them may have intended to criticize the present through the past, but I sometimes felt like their attitude toward each particular era was stereotyped. That is, the era before and during the war tend to be depicted as total darkness, and 50's-70's political movements tend to be depicted ideally. But, was it true? I can't help doubting things which described with a one-sided view.
For that reason, it was new that this exhibition made me feel the 70's as a kind of dystopia. What is more, it was lively dystopia! It raised credibility that it did as whistle blowing from the inside of JR.
However, the display on the lower floor was somber in contrast to the upper floor. There were photographs that was taken for Fine Art rather than a commercial in the same period including the works of a photographer who had opposed the Discover Japan campaign. I thought that the curator of this exhibition had intended to show the fact that there had been the cool people who had not been manipulated by the mass campaign in those days. If that's so, the comparison was too simple. More than anything, the display was so somber! It was obvious that the upper floor was far more fun than the lower one. I was disappointed at the latter half of the exhibition.
At a later date, when I read the catalog of the exhibition, I found the curator's intention had been different. He had not intended to praise the people who had opposed the Discover Japan campaign. Rather, he criticized them for their rough argument. In that case, we could interpret the somber display on the lower floor as metaphor of their feeble opposition. This may be reading too much into it, but we might be able to see criticism of the stereotyped leftist opposition against power from it.
Though, the curator did not deny the whole of their opposition stance but criticized the flaw of the argument. To the campaign, he did not take a simple stance, too. I was able to see his critical stance to the campaign from the display, but at the same time he countered the rough criticism against the campaign in the catalog. Thanks to staying neutral, I think he could propound a lot of issues from this exhibition. It is a problem that we can't understand them without reading the catalog, but I think it was an unique exhibition in this year.

○「アンディ・ウォーホル展 永遠の15分」

This was the largest Andy Warhol exhibition I have seen in recent years. I was able to find new understanding by seeing the whole of his works at a time. For example, one of the lessons I got from this exhibition is below.
"You can't get a new thing without throwing away something. To get a big thing, you must throw away something big you already have."

○「ヴォルフガング・ティルマンス Affinity」

To tell the truth, I had not been crazy about Tillmans' works. I felt his works smart, but I had never been impressed deeply.
However, I was able to understand his greatness in this exhibition at last. I had felt his installation as some kind of fashion before, but in this exhibition, I could feel some kind of philosophy from the perfection of it.

○「さわひらき Under the Box, Beyond the Bounds」

The most impressive exhibition of Sawa Hiraki was the one I saw his works for the first time in 2003. And I had never been impressed more deeply in his exhibition since then.
However, I met his most splendid exhibition at last. In this exhibition, I could feel the whole of the gallery as a work. I felt as if I was journeying inside of a music box. Especially, the new work titled "Envelope" which was placed near the last part was amazing. At that place, after journeying through the exhibition, you should become aware for the first time that the world has turned over. When I became aware of it, I really shuddered.

○「柳瀬正夢 1900-1945 時代の光と影を描く」

This was a good opportunity to see the whole of the works of Yanase Masamu. I could see how talented he had been in his youth, and also could see how distinctly the talent had vanished after he had been arrested in violation of the Public Security Preservation Laws when he was 32 years old.
What a mysterious thing human talent is! And how closely a person's talent and the times he lives relate!

○「高柳恵里 油断」

I saw two superb exhibition of Takayanagi Eri last year. The one was exhibited in an interior shop and the other was exhibited in one of the vast gallery of MOT. I thought that both spaces were difficult to exhibit, but both exhibition astonished me because of the high level installations. She transformed those spaces quietly but drastically.
And this year Takayanagi exhibited in the annex gallery of The Ueno Royal Museum. I thought that the space was more difficult to exhibit than former two. However, she transformed the space more drastically and more quietly. I took my cap off to her high skill.

○「山岡敏明個展 グチック形態学」

I saw this artist's works for the first time, and I felt empathy for his energy for endless drawing. I could feel as much as if it were my own energy. Feeling the empathy so strong, I was about to buy one of his works when I changed my mind and gave up. In any case, he was the most impressive artist among the ones whose works I saw for the first time this year.
Among the exhibition I saw at the same gallery,「山陽介 小屋に日が出る おはよう」was also an impressive one. I had seen his solo exhibition last year and I thought it was interesting, and this year's exhibition was more interesting than that.

○「北島敬三“UNTITLED RECORDS”展 Vol.1、Vol.2、Vol.3」

The exhibition of Vol.1 and Vol.2 shocked me. However, when I saw the exhibition of Vol.3, I had a little concern. Will it be continued after another 17 times without changing significantly?
I think that I will be unable to evaluate the series until I will have seen the whole of them.

○「所蔵作品展 花」&「所蔵作品展 こども+おとな工芸館 もようわくわく」

Nowadays, I look forward to see an exhibition of the Crafts gallery when I go to The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. In spite of the usual museum collection exhibitions and the trashy titles, these exhibitions were excellent.


Maybe I should have put this exhibition into the top 10 list. It was true that I had enjoyed seeing plenty of Balthus's works at a time.
However, unlike Vallotton, it was not the first Balthus exhibition I had seen, so it can't be helped that the impression tends to fade relatively. In addition to that, I could find no particular thing besides the large number of the works in this exhibition. Though the large number of Balthus's works itself is an amazing thing, of course.
Being impressed strongly, I determined to revisit the exhibition when I was seeing it, but after all I did not.

○「桑原甲子雄の写真 トーキョー・スケッチ60年」

I once saw the group exhibition that showed Kuwabara Kineo's photographs and Araki Nobuyoshi's photographs together at the Setagaya art museum. At that time, I was surprised that their photographs looked so different. It was the difference of recognizing of the date of the scenes in their photographs. In the Kuwabara's photographs, I could distinguish the date of the photographed scenes well. In contrast, I could not say when a Araki photo had been shot, because even his photographs that were shot recently looked retro as if they were shot in old times. The theme of the exhibition was "Tokyo", so I could see the changing of times in Tokyo on the Kuwabara's photos, but I felt as if time had stopped in the Araki's photos. At that time, I thought it was due to the Araki's nature. Looking timeless is one of the feature of Araki's photos.
However, when I saw this Kuwabara's exhibition this year at the same museum, I realized I had been wrong. It was not only due to Araki's nature but also due to Kuwabara's nature. The Kuwabara's talent of capture of times was outstanding. No one can photograph the distinct atmosphere of each of the times like him. When I saw this exhibition, I felt like as if I was traveling through time in Tokyo.

○「平成26年度第2回所蔵作品展 MOMATコレクション」の第10室の展示

As mentioned above, thanks to this exhibition I went to Fukushima to see the Ogawa Senyo's exhibition. In addition to the Senyo's bunjin-ga painting, I could see Yasuda Yukihiko's《六歌仙》and Tuchida Bakusen's sketchbooks.

○「不思議な動き キネティック・アート展」

Before I saw this exhibition, I had thought it was sort of a summer vacation program for children. However, it was a very scholarly exhibition. Of course many children were enjoying the moving objects, but not only that, it was also the exhibition that introduced the overseas minor art movement that was difficult to see in Japan normally. In that sense, this exhibition was in the same category of「オランダ・ハーグ派展」, which introduced Hague School, and「トスカーナと近代絵画」, which introduced Italian modern paintings in Toscana including Macchiaioli, that I had seen at the same museum this year and last year. It was a good opportunity to know the movement of Italian kinetic art.
In addition to this, I felt that the first exhibition room that displayed Op art works was very stylish. It was the first time that I felt Op art paintings so cool. It was so comfortable, so I felt as if I could stay in the room forever.
That is to say, this was the scholarly, enjoyable and stylish exhibition.

○「泥象 鈴木治の世界」

Good installation. And it was good for me to find that Suzuki's ceramic works were related with words closely.

○「フィオナ・タン まなざしの詩学」

Before I saw this exhibition, I had seen Fiona Tan's works in the exhibition of「ゴー・ビトゥイーンズ」at Mori Art Museum and her solo exhibition at WAKO WORKS OF ART. I thought both of them were uninteresting, so I had not expected this exhibition at all. However, it was splendid.
I think the success resulted from the good curation. It was the right choice that they cut down to 4 works for the gallery and added two early film works for the theater. Both films were very impressive. I had been thinking about words through this year, but this exhibition reminded me of the importance of thinking about images.

○「『福田尚代作品集 2001-2013』出版記念展」

I thought that Fukuda had changed. Maybe she had completed the decade works and entered the new stage. Her new works made me feel as if the author's existence had become more transparent. I thought that she put herself to a role of filter that transfers things of this world to another world. I felt like she had reached the point that she could accept the role naturally after had gone through the decades of struggle.
Her display in the exhibition of「開館20周年記念 MOTコレクション特別企画 コンタクツ」with Giuseppe Penone was also splendid. It consisted of her old works but I felt like they adapted themselves to this world naturally more than before. I had seen the author's conflict with the world in them before, but it seemed to have been sublimated in the new installation.

The exhibition of「開館20周年記念 MOTコレクション特別企画 コンタクツ」itself was a good program. I enjoyed the combination of the Japanese younger artists' works and the old master's works.
The most interesting pair for me was Ishida Hisashi and Sam Francis. Both of them is the artist I don't like so much. Especially, I have never once thought Ishida's works interesting. I didn't know why I was not able to feel any interest from his works.
However, I found the reason when I saw the comparison of their works. To put it briefly, I realized that Ishida's drawings were drawn for effects of film eventually. I felt as if he had drawn them by calculating back from a forecast of finished film. I didn't think the Sam Francis giant paintings good at all, but they had been painted for the paintings at least. Comparing their works, the difference was obvious. Thanks to this exhibition, I could realize it at last.


I am in two minds whether to write about this exhibition or not. I am afraid to hurt someone whom I don't need to hurt and I don't want to waste my time for it. However, my intuition tell me that I should write down about it. It says I should write down the uneasy feeling that I felt in this exhibition.
The exhibition consisted of two floors, and showed the works of two studio for persons with intellectual disabilities in each floor.
The uneasy feeling I got was caused in mainly the lower floor. The works of a studio for persons with Down's syndrome were displayed there. I happened to listen to a talk of the organizer of this studio on the radio some years ago. At that time, I was impressed by her talk about activity of the studio, and I wished I would be able to see their works someday.
However, when I saw the works actually, I didn't have a good impression. I could not find something outstanding from them. In my eyes, they were not so much different from ordinary children's paintings.
Of course the reason I could not understand their works' value might be caused by my fault. It may be because I have no sense of beauty or my mind is too dirty to feel it. However, apart from judging the aesthetic value, there was something that I could not accept. For one thing, I felt uneasy about the resemblance of their works. The organizer said they didn't give any guidance or instruction to the Down's syndrome persons at the studio. Nevertheless, I felt a common taste through their works, and I thought it was a conventional Art-ish taste.
There are some possible factors of it. The works in the exhibition were selected by the exhibition curator and the studio organizers probably, so it is natural to think that their taste would have been reflected in the selected works. Besides it, I saw a video that filmed their working, and it showed the organizer and supporters surrounded the Down's syndrome persons and stared they were painting. It is possible that their creation were affected by the reaction of surrounding people to some extent. In either case, it can be considered the stereotyped Art-ish atmosphere in the exhibition derived not from the Down's syndrome persons but from the people who support them.
I who could not understand wonderfulness of their works felt the Art-ish tastes absurd. At the risk of being misunderstood, I must confess that I had a moment that an abstract painting which was some kind of Contemporary Art-ish style in the exhibition looked like a painting that was painted by an animal, like a chimpanzee or an elephant.

The organizer explained the world of their works was named Art Immaculee, or Innocent Art. In the exhibition, that was declared as new ideology of Art. From their words, I interpreted it as new value that overcomes the conventional Art.
However, judging from this exhibition, I have to say that Innocent Art seemed merely a light version of Art Brut, or Outsider Art. It seemed the thing that removed the parts of dark and heavy from Art Brut.
To make matters worse, the Innocent Art as a light version of Art Brut looked to be in demand. They seemed to match with walls of fashionable shop or some kind of place, and people can decorate a room with them easily unlike genuine Art Brut works. Of course if a person wish for the works of Innocent Art after understanding their true value, there is no problem. However, if the value depended on the fact that the works were painted by persons with Down's syndrome, is there any difference from valuing paintings which was painted by animals?
I consider that the problem of the ideology of Innocent Art and this exhibition was lack of sense of awe to Art. I have seen many good exhibition of Art Brut, or Outsider Art, or Able Art. There was no exhibition that I could not feel any mental conflict of the people who were concerned with them. It is the necessary conditions for good exhibition of Art Brut, because problem of exploitation and discrimination always exist in Art Brut. No, it's not only in Art Brut. It is the essence of Art itself. Therefore, we can never escape from it. Of course, if you enjoy only surface of Art, you may stay away from the problem. However, if you want to go into the level of someone's soul through works of Art, the risk will be never avoidable.
About a year ago, I saw a video that filmed the tour of Japanese Art Brut artists who were going to Paris for their exhibition. I had seen the traveling exhibition in Japan and had enjoyed it very much, but the documentary video gave me a bit different feeling. Something in the video made me uneasy. For example, I saw a scene that an artist, whose works were his own underwears painted pictures on by him, was hanging about uneasily in front of his works at the exhibition. His mother explained delightfully that he wanted to take back his underwears and go back home, and the cameraman and the surrounding people laughed. When I saw that scene, I felt a pang of conscience. I felt a sense of guilt because I realized that was the very scene of exploitation.
About Art Brut, we are on a thin rope at all times. You will drop when you are not careful, so you must never forget it. Every good exhibition of Art Brut I have seen possessed much carefulness. Not only Art Brut's but also all good exhibition of Art I have seen had the carefulness in each degree. However, I must say that I could not feel the carefulness in this exhibition. Perhaps, it may have been forgotten behind the ambition for presenting the new ideology of Art.
Of course Art is good thing for us, and I have no objection to the activity of the studio. If the persons with Down's syndrome made themselves happy by making art works, it's really wonderful. Or rather, it is a wonderful thing for persons with or without Down's syndrome. It is a general goodness of Art from the ancient times, without bringing the ideology of "Innocent Art" or "Art as a Haven of Happiness."
However, it is another story that we find the value of Art in their works and enjoy them as works of art. That is the story with exploitation and discrimination. We should be extremely careful here.
I think the title of the exhibition is the symbol of fault. They called it paradise, or utopia. However, it is the truth that lack of imagination is the only way to make paradise in this world, and only people who blind themselves to every dark side of the world can live in utopia.

...What a hard work writing a diary of a year at a time is!
I should write this blog more often next year.

posted by 3 at 22:43| Diary





2位:「あざみ野コンテンポラリーvol.4 スーパーピュア展2013」横浜市民ギャラリーあざみ野(10〜11月)URL
5位:「桑山忠明展 HAYAMA」神奈川県立近代美術館葉山('12年11〜1月)URL
6位:「田代一倫 はまゆりの頃に 2012年秋 福島県双葉郡楢葉町」(1〜2月)URL、「2012年 冬」(5〜6月)URL photographers'gallery+KULA PHOTO GALLERY
9位:「政田武史 それはこうして現れる。世界が吹き出す時に。」HAGIWARA PROJECTS(7〜8月)

「鈴木理策 アトリエのセザンヌ」ギャラリー小柳(2〜3月)
「生誕120年 木村荘八展」東京ステーションギャラリー(3〜5月)URL
「夜明けまえ 知られざる日本写真開拓史〜北海道・東北編」東京都写真美術館(3〜5月)URL
「山本高之 Facing the Unknown: Dark Energy」island MEDIUM+千葉市美術館1階プロジェクトルーム(6〜7月)URL、「Facing the Unknown」ケンジタキギャラリー(9〜10月)URL
「生誕130年 彫刻家・高村光太郎展」千葉市美術館(6〜8月)URL
「高木秀典 個展」ART TRACE GALLERY(9〜10月)
「アンリ・ルソーから始まる 素朴派とアウトサイダーズの世界」世田谷美術館(9〜11月)URL


「橋本聡:私はレオナルド・ダ・ヴィンチでした。魂を売ります。天国を売ります。」は、昨年の「14の夕べ 偽名」あたりからなんとなく予感はあったけど、橋本聡にエンターテインメント的な要素が加わるとここまで面白くなるのかという驚愕の展覧会。「突き抜けている」という意味では、他のあらゆるものを引き離して圧倒的に突き抜けた内容だった。今年はこの橋本聡の個展と横山裕一の新刊『ルーム』の二つの「突き抜けた」表現に完全に打ちのめされた年だった。
「あざみ野コンテンポラリーvol.4 スーパーピュア展2013」は、アール・ブリュット/エイブルアート系の展覧会で作家を厳選して展示に凝ればここまで凄い展覧会ができるのかという素晴らしい展覧会だった。公開制作の衝撃も忘れることができない。
「桑山忠明展 HAYAMA」「政田武史 それはこうして現れる。世界が吹き出す時に。」「高木秀典 個展」は、絵画の新たな可能性に。彼らの作品を見ると絵画の進化はゼンゼン終わってなどいないということに気付かされる。「絵画」の未来を感じさせられたいう一点においても、特筆しておくべき存在。
「田代一倫 はまゆりの頃に」は、ついに今年撮影が終了し写真集も刊行されたシリーズだが、展示も三回開催されたうちのとくに最初の二回は二室ある展示室を効果的に使ったとても印象的なものだった。去年出会って以来、この作品からは本当にいろいろなことを教えられた気がする。もはや自分の血肉と化しているほどに思い入れの強い作品になってしまった。
「戦争/美術1940-1950」「アンリ・ルソーから始まる 素朴派とアウトサイダーズの世界」は、どちらも館蔵品を中心としながらも非常に質の高い企画展。「戦争/美術」は美術作品によって1940年代という時代を追体験させるかのような展示。40年代後半が駆け足になるのが惜しかったが、定点観測的に何人かの作家に焦点を当てて部分から全体を照らし出していく構成は見事。「展覧会」という表現メディアにおける現時点での最高位にも位置するような内容だったのではないだろうか。「アンリ・ルソーから始まる」は、とかく定義の難しい「アウトサイダー・アート」を素人画から精神病患者の創作までの丁寧なグラデーションで追っていき、なおかつそれが自館のコレクション史とも重なっているという高度な構成。世田美のコレクション力も見せつけられた。
「鈴木理策 アトリエのセザンヌ」は、魔術的な写真展。この写真家の展示は以前見た写美の個展などに顕著だったが、見映えはするのだがややもすればそれがコケオドシ的に感じられてしまってショージキ軽く見ていたところがあった。しかし劇的な照明などの得意のギミックを廃したこの展示では、静かな環境のなかでむしろ過去に見たどの展示よりも「魔術的な感覚」が実現されていたと思う。その感覚は昨年見たセザンヌ展の印象や自分のセザンヌ作品の解釈とも一致していた。
「生誕120年 木村荘八展」は、気にはなりつつもなかなかその全貌を知る機会のなかった作家の回顧展。こういう渋い系の良質な展覧会が増えてきたのは嬉しい。
「夜明けまえ 知られざる日本写真開拓史〜北海道・東北編」は、初回からずっと見続けているシリーズだが、北海道・東北という土地柄のせいか今回はなかでも頭抜けて面白かった。最後に展示されていた災害写真の展示も印象深い。
山本高之の個展「Facing the Unknown: Dark Energy」と「Facing the Unknown」は、他者を自作の素材とする際の不思議な作者の立ち位置に。その「謎」な感じは、平温のまま残る毒のように今でも自分のなかに留まり続けている。
「生誕130年 彫刻家・高村光太郎展」は、光太郎の彫刻の数自体はそれほど多くはないのだが、丁寧な作りが印象深かった好展示。智恵子の紙絵が大量に見られたのも収穫。

posted by 3 at 19:34| 日記


Notes and portraits - Tashiro Kazutomo "When hamayuris are in bloom"

I felt difficulty in speaking words for a while when the Great East Japan earthquake happened the year before last. I was afraid that the words I said might hurt somebody, because I could not judge exact depth of wound of others.
The Fukushima nuclear plant accident made worse the situation. Because no one could say the exact damage of the radioactivity, the dispute about nuclear plants and radioactivity became like a religion war.
As a result, I felt that the world had fallen under the control of sectarianism. I felt that no word I said could escape that they were connected with a sect. It seemed like that every words in the world turned to the political words.
I consider that it was caused by the remorse of having caused a nuclear plant accident. We got the pressure that we must choose the correct answer for the future this time. I felt that society as a whole seemed to suffer from illness of "the correctness". It made me feel like suffocating.

At that time, I saw the exhibition of "When hamayuris are in bloom" that was photography work by Tashiro Kazutomo. Tashiro often went to Tohoku region and photographed people whom he met there after the earthquake.
I was astonished by the boldness of his action. Tashiro was from Kyushu and he have had no relationship to Tohoku. An outsider asked the residents to become the model of his photograph in the damaged area soon after the disaster. I could not believe such reckless action.

However, I had been completely enchanted by this work after I saw Tashiro's photographs and read his notes about the photos. I had never experienced such a shock that I got from the work. I reflected on myself and also I felt that I touched the thing such as some warm light of hope at the same time.

The style of the work is simple. They are the portraits of the people whom Tashiro met in Tohoku. He asked the people whom he met there and photographed only persons who consented. He shoot the whole body of them and he added simple notes about the photograph.
Tashiro had photographed more than 1200 people for two years. The 453 pieces of those were chosen and were published as a photobook recently.

I am fond of Tashiro's words as much as his photographs. I consider that his notes are very important in this works.
They are short sentences and the contents are the words that Tashiro heard from the people who were photographed, the episodes of the photography and the reflection of Tashiro himself.

I am sure Tashiro was aware that his act of photographing was violent. Therefore he was careful not to hurt the persons who were photographed very much.
After the violence of the earthquake, any trivial thing could become the fatal violence. If he brought himself to have understood the people it becomes already a violence. It might hurt the people in some cases.
Therefore he wrote his notes very carefully. He never imagines and wrote the inside of the people. He did not write what he could not understand. He wrote only things that he looked, heard and thought.
I consider that his attitude to respect the persons who were photographed is the life of this work.

I am sure that it needs more tens of thousands of times tense for the work Tashiro wrote about the persons whom he met in Tohoku than my difficulty in speaking words just after the earthquake. However, his notes are not coward in spite of cautious. He wrote what he must record with minimum words as much as possible.
As a result, we can read some precious words that are given in the brutal situation. Those words tell us a lot of things more than any kind of long literary work.

We can feel the tension from every words that were added to the photographs which were photographed in the early days of the disaster. Even to some casual words, we imagine the situation that the words were spoken and guess what they really means.
However, the words gradually regained normal meanings as the days passed. I think that it is an effect of the photographs. They are mere simple notes, nevertheless we can read the infinite meaning from the words when they are combined with the photographs. In between the photographs and the notes, we can read all of the words that Tashiro could not make the words.

The Tashiro's photograph style is stoic in the same way as his notes. He did not choose the models by his preference. He photographed any person whom he met there with the same format without distinction.
Therefore the persons who only visited there were photographed as "the person whom he met there" the same as the people who had lived there for many years.

I am sure the way of the equality was be to resist violence of the categorization. The violence to categorize the people as "victim" forcibly was the most dangerous thing that Tashiro had to stay away from. What made the people "victim" were the earthquake at first, and the labeling by the mass media and us next.
The work of Tashiro was to take off the label which were put on them. He met the people who had been to be an abstract and a number and recovered them as the each person who had own face.

Therefore in the Tashiro's photographs, every person who stayed there by any reason and every person who had what kind of job were treated in the same way. The value of usefulness for the reconstruction has no superiority in his photographs. The judgment that the opinion and the action are wrong or right is not being questioned there.
They were the irreplaceable persons who should be blessed only because they were there.

What Tashiro photographed was an encounter. He seems to persuade himself out of putting too much confidence in own ability that he can photograph the more things.
He must know that he cannot understand the feelings of the persons whom he photographs. He never overestimate his own ability about it.
In the first place, we never completely understand other people. It is arrogance to think that you can do it. It is a presupposition of communication that we must recognize that we cannot understand others completely.

However, Tashiro's photographs show us that the encounter was valuable and precious even if they could not understand each other. The most important thing was not to understand but to encounter.
I can feel that Tashiro blessed the encounters more than anything from his photographs. He put off every value judgment and was pleased with the encounter above all.
As a result, every person in his photograph shows unique presence as the irreplaceable person.

In the world that tends to make a sect by difference of opinion and faith, it will be a hope that we can be pleased with an encounter although we can not understand each other.
Therefore, in spite of heavy contents, I feel that I am saved when I see the Tashiro's work.

I think that I was able to understand the meaning of the existence of "others" for the first time by encountering this work. My way of looking at people around me had changed. My mind for people who live in this world together had changed completely.
It was very important for me that I could meet this work. To me, the encounter was irreplaceable.

“Kazutomo Tashiro - When hamayuris are in bloom: 2013 spring"
photographers' gallery + kula photo gallery(November,06 -November,24, 2013)

Tashiro Kazutomo "When hamayuris are in bloom"

posted by 3 at 08:51| Diary




 自分が始めてこの作品に出会ったのは昨年の春、新宿のkula photo gallery(photographers' gallery)で開催された個展であったが、田代はその後も撮影を続け、今年の春に撮影を終了するまでに点数にして実に1200点以上を撮影し、そのうちの453点が最近写真集として出版された。








「田代一倫 はまゆりの頃に 2013年 春」
photographers' gallery + kula photo gallery(2013年11月6日〜24日)

田代一倫写真集『はまゆりの頃に 三陸、福島 2011〜2013年』(里山社)
posted by 3 at 08:17| 日記


About a miracle

There was a calm and peaceful atmosphere in that place. Maybe because there were many staff and participants, everyone seemed to be friendly and relaxed.
In such a warm atmosphere, I stood in utter amazement while watching two painters who drew pictures on the floor. I told myself, "What in the world is happening here?"

It was a scene in the exhibition "Azamino Contemporary vol.4 SUPER PURE 2013 - my rule, my style" which I saw in Yokohama citizen gallery Azamino the other day. When I went to there, the open studio event was holding, and two painters who joined the exhibition were drawing the pictures in the gallery.
The two painters who groveled on the floor and drew were Inoue Masaru and Tanaka Mutsumi from Aterier Yamanami. It was the first time that both of them exhibited their works at an exhibition. It was less than one year yet since they have begun to draw pictures. Incidentally, Inoue is 70 years old and Tanaka is 57 years old.
They motivated by neighboring friends in the studio and have begun to draw a picture suddenly in spite of they have not drawn a picture until they were current age. I think it was a good story.

However, it was more than a good story. Because their works were amazing.
The pictures they drew were bigger than their heights. Inoue drew with pencil and Tanaka drew with pastel crayons on such a large paper. Inoue's monochrome pencil drawing was a picture of deformed figure of human that reminded of ancient hieroglyphic art a little. Tanaka's pastel drawing was a colorful picture of portrait that was drawn boldly and I felt slightly sensual feeling from it.
I had never seen the pictures such as both of them and they were not the picture which a painter whose career is less than in one year could draw.
Both of them dressed up for the event. The appearance which two of them faced each other and drew avidly was an impressive scene.

However, it was not the reason why I was impressed by. I was impressed by the feeling that the real art was appearing here. I had never impressed so much though I had seen the scenes that artists create their works many times before.
Why was I so impressed by?

SUPER PURE 2013 was the exhibition that showed the works of 16 artists who have handicaps. They would be included in so-called art brut(outsider art).
It is difficult to define "art brut". Originally it was the word that meant to about the creation of the mental patients, but the works of other kind of people are also included today.
The common definition of art brut is that the works that are made by people who have not gotten a formal art education. However, all of the works which the person who have not gotten a formal art education made are not considered as art brut. That is still not enough.
I am sure that Jean Dubuffet should have had a shock from the works at first when he invented the concept of art brut. The shock must be essence of art brut.
When I see a work of art brut, I usually get a strong emotion more than logic. The important part is "more than logic." I think that the definition of art brut "person who have not gotten a formal art education" is like the sign to notice us that is "more than logic."

The reason why I was impressed to see the secene that two aged persons drew the pictures at the open studio event was that it was "more than logic." In other words, I was impressed to see a miracle.
I think it was true that the fact that they were old and had handicaps became the big factor for me to recognize that the scene was a miracle. However, it was not the essence. It was only something like a tag that reminds us that it was a miracle.
The miracle was the pictures they drew. The miracle was their creation itself.
I think that they themselves understood it better than anyone else. They were absorb themselves in their creation without caring the staff who was concerned about their physical condition ordered them to take a break. I could feel that they were amazed at their own ability that they had not noticed for a long time and were glad of the creation.
In other words the miracle that happened there is the thing included in all creation as possibility. No, it is included in life itself.

Why do we need a miracle? Why are we so impressed when we see a miracle?
Probably it may be because we cannot "believe" that it is already a miracle that we are here now while we "know" it.
We cannot explain the miracle that we are here now with words. It is necessary for us to transcend a logics to be able to believe it. It is the reason why we need a miracle.

A miracle changes our understanding of the world completely. We realize that the world where we live is so large and filled with unknown possibilities when we see a miracle.
A miracle is for all people. Because a miracle changes our understanding not only about a person's ability but also about the structure of this world.
If there is a miracle in the world, the meaning of our own existence changes. We can believe that the limits in the world are unknown. It may be the reason that we are encouraged when we see a miracle even if it is a small one.
A miracle gives a hope for our life.

I have the unforgettable words that I heard from the teacher of the art cram school when I was young. It was the words that "the drawing skill does not improve gradually but becomes good suddenly."
Apart from what the teacher really meant, I heard the words as heavenly revelation.
Yes! Drawing skill will becomes good suddenly! In spite of my works is poor now, the one which I draw next may become something great! The possibility that my next work become the picture which anyone have never seen is not zero!
I believed it and I have continued drawing a picture until today.
I still believe that the picture I draw next may become something extraordinary. I still believe that the miracle will happen. I continue drawing because I believe a miracle.

The reason why I am impressed by the works of art brut and all kinds of arts which transcend logics will be that I recognize some kind of "sign" there. It is the sign that there is a miracle in this world.
If there is a miracle in the world, the place is filled with infinite possibility.

"Azamino Contemporary vol.4 SUPER PURE 2013 - my rule, my style"
Yokohama citizen gallery Azamino(October 26 - November 17, 2013)

posted by 3 at 20:54| Diary



 それは先日横浜市民ギャラリーあざみ野で見た展覧会「あざみ野コンテンポラリーvol.4 スーパーピュア展2013―my rule, my style」での一コマである。たまたま自分が訪れたときに公開制作のイベントが行われていて、出品作家のうちの四人が展示室で実際に制作の様子を披露していたのだ。床に這いつくばるよう絵を描いていた二人というのは、やまなみ工房から出品していた井上優さんと田中睦美さんの二人の新人画家である。





 そもそもなぜ我々は奇跡を必要とするのか? 奇跡を目の当たりにすると、なぜこんなにも感動するのか?


 昔、大学受験のために美術予備校に通っていたとき、指導をしていた講師が言っていた言葉でいまでも忘れられないものがある。それは「絵は徐々に上手くなるものではなく、ある日突然いきなり上手くなるものだ」というものだった。その講師がどのような意味合いでその言葉を言ったのかは定かではないが、当時なかなか思ったように絵が描けず悩んでいた自分にとって、それは天啓のように響いた。そうか! 絵は突然上手くなるものなのか! だったらいまはこんなにグダグダでも、次に描く絵は自分でも信じられないくらいの傑作になるかもしれない! そう単純に思い込んだのが、実に現在にまで続いているのだ。


「あざみ野コンテンポラリーvol.4 スーパーピュア展2013―my rule, my style」
posted by 3 at 20:51| 日記