Archives

Interview by Theca Gallery Andrea Carlo Alpini




━━━ Engraving and etching techniques are two of the most important in the Japanese artistic production, have you referred to some old masters?

  • Etching is mainstream in Japan. There are very few artists that do engraving. However, print artists of Japan have studied and respected the old masters of Europe. Albrecht Durer is popular in particular, but I was influenced by the work of Rembrandt.



━━━ There are some Japanese contemporary artists that use your same techniques. Have you referred to some of them?

  • Many print artists in Japan use etching techniques. But my approach is very different from them. I use a more complex process than others, so I can create an attractive representation for the result.



━━━ Why did you decide to create your works with the etching technique? Do you have a significant reason for doing this choice?

  • It is a very important to me to use the etching technique. I can represent my image through etching. My production process of etching is the matching what I feel. I'm looking for a representation of the unknown image through production. There is always a new discovery to making the image by dissolving the copper plate with an acid. It is very important for me.



━━━ Permanent Power is your first series of works. In your first essay, you compared the plants with coffins that contained “sleeping” seeds. What's the reason that originate this anatomical way of think about the plants?

  • It is an image of the plant. There are a lot of plants around my house. I grew up with a lot of plants. Through the plant seed, I wanted to represent eternal life or the rebirth of life. The difference between the image on the left and the right is an indication that things will change with time. Humans and plants change little by little through evolution while on the earth.



━━━ We noticed a large experimentation of techniques and styles into yours production. However, there isn't any painting. What is your relationship with the traditional artistic technique?

  • Before I started printing, I was painting as training. I found that painting does not fit my senses, compared to printmaking. Production of prints is a lot of fun for me. I’m not particular about style or technique. And, I'm looking for a new image using traditional techniques. What I seek is not to invent new techniques.



━━━ In your essay, the concept of "floating" is often used. Is there any reference at Ukiyo-e? What is your relationship with the incisions / traditional prints?

  • It has nothing to do with Ukiyo-e. " floating = the circle of transmigration
  • " is the concept of things to me. Time is flowing, all life is alive in time. Time never stops. However, my work has been influenced by the “Rimpa school (of painting, 17th-early 20th century)“ of Japanese traditional painting. This graphi painting is unique to Japan. That element of my work based in Japanese artistic tradition.



━━━ A Priori Towane is a couple of words that you created using both Japanese and Latin languages. Why did you have this idea? Was your travel around Europe consequential for it?

  • This title was decided very early, before I traveled to Europe. Meaning of words were very important. My thought is that there is no end to things. My interest in the transformation of the colours and shapes that are seen in the swaying world has become ‘a priori towane' (my coinage: made up of the Latin word ‘a priori’ and the Japanese word ‘towane’ which means ‘forever sounding’),



━━━ How your travels around the world were significant in your artistic production (in particular in thecycle The birth of transmigration and A priori towane 2005)? Especially referring to Mexico, Spain,Thailand and France.

  • I was able to see a variety of the world in many countries. There are the big sky and immense landscapes in Mexico. There are the sound of the bells and flow of the river of eternity in Thailand. I think this discovery of the world has became an opportunity to create a new rich image in my mind.





━━━ Why did you choose the magnolia, plant used by Buddhist monks as a symbol of purity and openness, as the main subject of the cycle A Priori Towane 2003?

  • I did not know that the magnolia and Buddhism are involved, when I created the works. A magnolia is one of my favorites flowers. I know the beauty of fall flowers from magnolia's blooming in the garden. I made an image representing the workings of life following my permanent theme.





━━━In “A thought on observing time (2003-2004)” you used natural and rough material, whilst in the following cycle of 2011 you decided to add plastic and synthetic material. What's your relationship with these materials? What's the meaning (especially referring to beeswax that often is used) of their usage?

  • The material has an important meaning for me that color is changing over time and it expresses the flow of time. Also, beeswax can be taken from the hive, and it shows a symbol of life. On the other hand, lead symbolizes death to me. I think the impression of my work has changed from “A thought on observing time (2003-2004)” to “A thought on observing time 2011” because I took inspiration from the Fukushima nuclear accident or earthquake that occurred in Japan. The Nuclear accident caused a big shock to the Japanese. and to the natural environment. I now use bright synthetic colors and materials to represent the foreign matter intrusion in the natural world.

━━━ How your travels around the world were significant in your artistic production (in particular in thecycle The birth of transmigration and A priori towane 2005)? Especially referring to Mexico, Spain,Thailand and France.

  • I was able to see a variety of the world in many countries. There are the big sky and immense landscapes in Mexico. There are the sound of the bells and flow of the river of eternity in Thailand. I think this discovery of the world has became an opportunity to create a new rich image in my mind.

━━━ Why did you choose the magnolia, plant used by Buddhist monks as a symbol of purity and openness, as the main subject of the cycle A priori towane 2003?

  • I did not know that the magnolia and Buddhism are involved, when I created the works. A magnolia is one of my favorites flowers. I know the beauty of fall flowers from magnolia's blooming in the garden. I made an image representing the workings of life following my permanent theme.



━━━ In “A thought on observing time (2003-2004)” you used natural and rough material, whilst in the following cycle of 2011 you decided to add plastic and synthetic material. What's your relationship with these materials? What's the meaning (especially referring to beeswax that often is used) of
their usage?

  • The material has an important meaning for me that color is changing over time and it expresses the flow of time. Also, beeswax can be taken from the hive, and it shows a symbol of life. On the other hand, lead symbolizes death to me. I think the impression of my work has changed from “A thought on observing time (2003-2004)” to “A thought on observing time 2011” because I took inspiration from the Fukushima nuclear accident or earthquake that occurred in Japan. The Nuclear accident caused a big shock to the Japanese. and to the natural environment. I now use bright synthetic colors and materials to represent the foreign matter intrusion in the natural world.



━━━ Karma, transmigration and concentric circles. Elements that lead to an approach (progressive) to the Buddhist philosophy. What is your relationship with religion? And how has it evolved over time?

  • My work is not related to a particular religion. But many people think I have religious influence in my works. I don’t have a specific religion, however, the idea of Buddhism is important in the life and thinking of the Japanese. I think my work and my sense of values were unconsciously influenced by the Buddhist philosophy.



━━━ We noticed that the concentric cycles into “A priori Towane 09-01” (2008) seem more well-defined than into previous works. These cycles seem to be produced by an invisible thread. What's themeaning of this change?

  • This is the work which is connected to the object. I drew a large forest when the forest was destroyed for development. This circles are rings of the wood which were left scattered on the grasslands. Lines extending from the sky represent fate. I felt that life did not begin by chance. There is a reason why it exists. Lines are represent to connect to the beginning of destiny. In addition, I used only drypoint techniques to create this image, and I drew the image with the lines only. By overlapping the lines I try to represent the length of time.





━━━ Could you describe the significance of the cross-linked and concentric elements made in the base of some of the works of the cycle A thought on observing time 2003-2004 (in particular those included in the work A thought on observing time n. 8)?

  • Before science, these figures were used in order to consider the nature in Europe. A thought on observing time No.8 figure was drawn to think how the rain falls concerning the lines in the metal. When I made this work, I tried to dig deep into the image with various perspectives to discover my consciousness.







━━━ We noticed that there isn't people and any kind of “human” element among your works. Is there a particular reason or is it just your stylistic choice?

  • I am interested in the life cycle of all life including human life. I want to express that all things are constantly changing. I chose plants as my motifs to express the endless circle of birth, because I grew up seeing the death and rebirth of the plants. I find the meaning and destiny of life with the plant cycle where flowers open or bloom at every same place and time every year.







━━━ Which are your future artistic projects? Have you thought of collaborations with other international artists?

  • I will hold many the solo exhibitions in Japan. I will make a lot of new print works and objects. If I have a chance I want to make a large object. Size is 5mx5m. It is my dream.I experienced international collaboration with a French poet, Robert Marteau, when I had stayed in Paris. We made a book. with his poems and my prints. This work was exhibited at my solo exhibition in Tokyo in March 2010.I am interested in international collaboration. I have an offer from another artist in Monaco, though it has not been decided yet.




































Lecture

Project

Report

■2008-09 The Japanese Government’s Overseas Study Program for Artists in Paris
Coming soon !

■2008 13th International Biennial Print Exhibition in Taiwan
Coming soon !


■2007 Group Study Exchange Program in Brazil
Coming soon !