Yutaka Kikutake Gallery is pleased to present a group exhibition on the theme of “painting” from September 1st to October 6th 2018, inviting Toshiharu Suzuki from the Toyota Municipal Museum of Art as guest curator, and featuring the works of three artists: Takuro Sugiyama, Shota Hanaki, and Yukari Motoyama. Following the group exhibition “Primal Reverberation” held at the gallery in 2017, this exhibition is a project that serves to question the fundamental role and nature of painting in our contemporary context.
Karl Kraus had fought a long and solitary battle through his writings, having closely witnessed the end of the First World War and the rise of the Nazi part while living in Vienna in the early half of the 20th century. To put it briefly, through rigorously employing his own words as well as those spoken and written by people of various social standing in Vienna, Kraus had conversely attempted to shed light upon the distortions and irrationality of the world itself –an endeavor that served to shape his critiquing career. Such was a means he had chosen to challenge the world that continued to collapse before his very own eyes.
Language is a means for connecting what lies inside us with the outside world. It is bestowed upon us from the outside, and prescribes and binds us. On the other hand, it is spontaneously updated from within through its continued daily use. If one were to replace language with painting then, how would it behave and what role would it play? What connections would it give rise to? Is it something that is bestowed from the outside and binds us, or is it something that updates us from within?
The three artists in the exhibition attempt to engage with the various aspects of painting as rigorously as possible. In doing so, they not only approach the principle of painting, but at the same time recomposes its very nature. Yukari Motoyama rigorously pursues “good lines,” while Shota Hanaki concerns himself with the act of painting, and Takuro Sugiyama with the process of determining forms. Such endeavors in themselves are respective indicators and means for understanding painting. The very paintings conceived as a result thus manifest in a manner different from idealistic painterly qualities.
In the way that there is no accuracy towards language in simply listing an array of buzzwords, there is no need to unnecessarily seek a sense of novelty in the paintings of these artists. What is important is to determine what each operation and that which supports it, or conversely, what it supports, is serving to make connections between, as well as whether it is something provided from the outside or updated from the inside, and what it is that it is challenging.
The exhibition is entitled, “paint （ ）ings,” incorporating the writing styles of both Japanese and English, with parentheses positioned on the outside and on the inside of painting. It is in the space between “paint / ing” and “painting” or in the moment when “paint / ing” becomes “painting” that these three artists are increasingly conscious of their actions. It is because they are rigorous, and because they are conscious of their own actions, that their paintings come to harbor a certain distortion. For this reason, it must be noted that by no means is one necessarily trying to define the works of these painters through a Japan / Japanese context, or by means of a transient global standard. As such, it is possible to replace the title of this exhibition with another language –for example, “[paint “ ” ing]. Whatever the case may be, one anticipates that the artists develop their paintings through processes of conflict between inside and outside.
Toshiharu Suzuki (Curator, Toyota Municipal Museum of Art)
Takuro Sugiyama was born in 1983 in Chiba. He received a B.F.A. in Oil Painting from the Osaka College of Art in 2005. His recent solo exhibitions include, “periphery and the method” (2017, Chikurinji, Kochi), with participation in group exhibitions such as “Walking In Textiles” (2018, Old hayashike housing, Aichi) and “Enokojima Art Days 2017: Other Ways” (2017, FLAG STUDIO, MARK STUDIO, enoco room4, Osaka).
Shota Hanaki was born in 1988 in Aichi. He received an M.F.A. in Oil Painting and Woodcut Printing from the Graduate School of Fine Arts, Aichi University of Fine Arts in 2014. His recent solo exhibitions include, “BORDER” (2018, SHUMOKU GALLERY, Aichi and “Dashed line” (2016, Okazaki Shinkin Bank Gallery, Aichi), with participation in group exhibitions such as “optical façade of Parplume” (2017, gallery N, Aichi).
Yukari Motoyama was born in 1992 in Aichi. She received an M.F.A in Oil Painting from the Graduate School of Fine Arts, Kyoto City University of Arts in 2017. In Her recent solo exhibitions include, “Tokyo Fortune Journey” (2018, Volvo Studio Aoyama, Tokyo), with participation in group exhibitions such as “Here and beyond” (2017, Aomori Contemporary Art Centre, Aomori).
Toshiharu Suzuki (b.1982) is a curator of the Toyota Municipal Museum of Art. His curated exhibitions at the museum include, “Kyoko Murase: fluttering away” (2010), “Francis Bacon” (2013, a joint exhibition with the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo), and “Yoshitomo Nara: for better or worse” (2017). He is a contributing writer for Chic magazine and online edition of Bijutsu Techo.