Gallery Kawafune ギャラリー川船
2005年10月3日(月) - 10月22日(土) 11:00-19:00 日・祭日休廊
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The Flowers Engraved on Everyday Life
Yoshio Yoshimura’s brilliant flowers are drawn as fine reproductions. With one glance we can get the impression that in the works’ super-realism there is a faithful attempt to represent the subject. However, if we look more closely at the details of the work we see that it has a surface that is subtly different from that of oil paintings. Moreover, we are surprised at the abnormal effect of layers of extra-fine coloured pencil strokes. When we clue into this abnormality, we begin to realize that the artist wasn’t merely trying to do a photograph-like realistic reproduction of the beautiful flowers that appear in his works.
What sits at the starting point of Yoshimura’s works are prints of photographs he most definitely took himself. Onto these colour prints, he engraves a graph using a stylus, then he copies the images onto graphed Arche Paper. (Arche Paper is known to suppress the unnatural gloss or brilliance of coloured pencil drawings.) Then using over 120 coloured pencils he carefully colours in the spaces of the squares of the fine graph one-by-one, while carefully adjusting the subtle colour balance. The work of filling in these countless squares one-by-one, becomes, if one were to use everyday sentiments as a reference, an accumulation of labour that distances the mind. In fact, an artist lacking in confidence and fortitude would lose focus after 2 or 3 hours. No matter how masterful and fortuitous Yoshimura may be, it is totally understandable that repeating this kind of work for hours a day nearly everyday 3 or 4 works a year is his limit.
It can be said that the labour of this depiction by colour pencil is the act that sustains Yoshimura’s everyday serenity as he maintains the state of his body. In other words, it would not be possible to continue such work without deep and well balanced breathing. In past works Yoshimura has done detailed monochrome illustrations of newspapers (“Mainichi Shinbun,” “Japan Times,”) he also once did monochrome portraits of himself everyday for 365 days. One could say that the way he maintains himself while doing such monotonous work in everyday life is the conceptual content of his work. However, it may be that the early body of his work is partly an act of totally engrossing an inorganic self. Then, it was when he started to live in the Tokuchi Valley in the centre of Yamaguchi Prefecture that his style transformed his works into these more organic, rich, vivid coloured pencil illustrations.
However, it can be said that the stance of Yoshimura’s artwork production, in relation to looking at “things”, and depicting “things” is consistent and unchanging from his early days until now. Basically Yoshimura - in his early illustrations of newspaper pages as well as his self-portraits - uses photographs and copies the images as they are. In so doing it may be safe to say that it is through photographs that he himself gains his accumulated visual sense that instills meaning into his works. To say it in another way, Yoshimura’s own visual sense of the brightness gradation from white to black of his source material, - the photographs finely divided by graphs, - appears on another surface as a pattern or design-like earnest reproduction. In line with this, when he is making his works, even when he draws the image of a visually concrete subject (whether newspaper or face), he is actually not drawing the concrete image, but rather it is as though he falls into a state of simply drawing a design or pattern.
Mind you, in recent years, while following such a stoic path Yoshimura has begun to be able to carry on his work with a more relaxed state of mind. In Yoshimura’s own perspective he believes that his moving from the big city to a small village in the mountains 18 years ago is connected to both his changing of the way he considers his surroundings, as well as his awareness of the relationship between abundant nature and a well-rounded self. Representing beautiful flowers of various colours in minute detail using coloured pencils is on the one hand a monotonous act that carries with it the fear of tendonitis, but on the other hand, to Yoshimura, it has become what can only be described as an enriching, enjoyable constant daily work. Furthermore, in line with his mastery of this vocation, his flowers have become not just realistic representations of the flowers as they are found in the photographs but their brightness and location have become freely controllable.
As Yoshimura says, “People grow through the experience of the flesh,” it is precisely through his coloured pencils that he breaks the flowers down into visual fragments, further reconstructing them and then through a tenacious act of the body (or, experience of the flesh), the rhythm of life or daily experience of serenity that only Yoshimura himself can actualise, he engraves a unique expression onto the world. Now he is trying to allow this expression to blossom brilliantly.
1950 Ｂｏｒｎ ｉｎ Ｈｏｆｕ Ｙａｍａｇｕｃｈｉ
1977 Ｃｏｎｔｅｍｐｏｒａｒｙ Ｊａｐａｎ Ａｒｔｓ Ｅｘｈｉｂｉｔｉｏｎ（Ｍｕｓｅｕｍ ｏｆ Ｃｏｎｔｅｍｐｏｒａｒｙ，Ｔｏｋｙｏ）
Ｍｕｓｅｕｍ ｏｆ Ｃｏｎｔｅｍｐｏｒａｒｙ，Ｔｏｋｙｏ