Post Earthquake: Command C, Command V
My work concerns destruction and restoration, decay and revival. These antonyms are expressed as unpredictable formations of geometric shapes and lines, which in turn derive from the landscape of Japan. Transformed into this abstract language, that familiar landscape becomes unfamiliar and a new mystical space appears on the canvas. Delicate painted surfaces, nuanced, calm, and bright colors create peaceful moments. However, primary colors contradict the delicateness of the surfaces, implying destruction.
These paintings are rooted in the experience of the Japanese earthquake of March 11th, 2011. Five years of depicting imaginary landscapes based on the earthquake demonstrate how hard to it is escape from this subject. The aftermath of the earthquake is like tangled yarn: If the explosion of nuclear plants is the anxiety of the past, the anxiety of the future is recovery from that past.
Radiation is undermining people in Japan. Both the invisible and visible reality after the earthquake are limiting people’s lives. So I depict imaginary landscapes of Japan on small canvases to suggest that there is no landscape, that people are trapped. The ambivalence between figurative representation and abstraction in my paintings recalls memories of a landscape disrupted, tangled, and rendered formless by the earthquake. Buildings destroyed by the earthquake become a kind of abstraction.
My works are not important. However, the emotions I am depicting are important. The importance of unimportance is the beauty of life. Two opposite sides exist in both words/ worlds. Time, purity, and
transformation are the elements of revival. Lines, grids, and circles: the symbols compensate for language to me. Ordinary and extraordinary, verbal and nonverbal communications cancel each other out, restoring neutral life. Nonverbal communication, representation and abstraction on canvas, balance written poems and expand my language. I am always trapped inside boundaries, always sandwiched in between antonyms. It is a process of restoration of memory and tragedy and hope connected to the incident of the earthquake.
Prologue (2018) is constructed of two canvases. Color contrast creates lines and these lines suggest past and future. This is like looking at two times in one place. Stretcher bars are revealed on the right and left corners, expressing the reconstruction after the earthquake. In Mountain(2018), light blue is covering dark blue to create curved lines. It is not a flower pattern but these lines lead to a darkness in the infrastructure. Pink and orange circles appear like two suns descending below the mountain. These two circles represent two kinds of radiation: natural radiation from the Sun and artificial radiation from the nuclear plant.
Creating an unseen reality and a language that cannot be expressed by words were goals for Hilma af Klint. Her desire to use the world of religion and spiritualism to create an abstract painting is similar to my ambition in these paintings. In addition, the restrained color palette and ephemeral atmosphere of Hiroshi Sugito’s works also connect to my art.
Antonyms of natural: artificial. Emotional-devastator and patient recovery, decay and revival.