Yutaka Kikutake Gallery is pleased to present “Primal Reverberation,” a group exhibition on the theme of “painting” featuring the works of Hirofumi Isoya, Seiichiro Osa, and Kouichi Tabata from April 1 to April 29, 2017.
The act of viewing a painting could essentially be described as witnessing the first reverberation that marks the beginning. The artist’s act of painting is always that which is primitive, and those who view it are only able to witness the resulting reverberation. What is entailed in the interim can only be imagined, however, we are able to share the appreciation of paintings by means of sympathizing with or envisioning its precursory signs and reverberations. It is a fundamental issue that transcends all teachings regarding painting, and is worthy of question (albeit overly naïve) as an existential theory of painting that exceeds both our current context and existing institutions of art. Is it possible to conceive the fiery of this primal something as a reverberation on the picture plane to evoke the space and inspire us emotionally? If such is possible, what indeed is this picture plane that present itself as the traces of such fiery? And what are the intermediary layers that give substance to its form?
The artist Isamu Wakabayashi who continued to question the act of seeing itself through sculpture, articulates his thoughts on Lascaux cave paintings as follows: “Although we have recently been able to trace back 25,000 years to 30,000 years ago to the first paintings conceived by mankind, this number itself is not relevant. Perhaps the most important are the circumstances of the human being who had first come to engage in this act. The circumstances of those days are by no means directly connected to our present, yet ever since that moment people have continued to, and still to this day, engage in the act of painting.” Wakabayashi as such, states that the “number itself is not relevant.” Indeed, the very number is irrelevant. Nevertheless, it surely harbors a sense of meaning as the depth of time, or as an intermediate layer. In other words, although not precisely as they are, these first paintings are transported through the profound depth of the time to continue delivering a sense of reverberation as the beginning of all paintings that persist to this day, constantly inspiring the world in its wake.
In this respect, one could say that what we see in this exhibition on painting, are indeed paintings. What we encounter however, are not merely the paintings themselves. We envision the circumstances surrounding their respective beginnings while on one hand listening to their reverberation, and in the depth of time that exist in their interim, feel the vibrations of the world that are invisible to the eye.
Let us try to imagine the world before a certain painting is created and the world after its conception. What is happening in the world before a painting is created, and what is happening after? Alternatively, what is happening within you before you view a certain painting and after you have seen it?
Toshiharu Suzuki (Toyota Municipal Museum of Art)