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2015年.03月.18日 Wednesday

ART FAIR TOKYO 2015 作品紹介 | Kazuo Shiraga

You must first understand your inborn quality. This quality represents your difference from others, manifesting itself when you see and feel something, talk, draw, and make sounds…the stronger your will, the more resilient you will be when faced with nonhuman forces. Today’s intelligence must be neither escapist nor content with limited freedom, unlike the consciousness of the early twentieth century, which longed to escape the pitch-dark world and reach one filled with light.” – Kazuo Shiraga, the establishment of the individual.”

The third artist we want to present in Art Fair Tokyo 2015 is Kazuo Shiraga. People might wonder who he is and what the fascinating character in his works is. To be honest, compared with other international artists from the same generation, he might not be that well known on the international stage. However, as a core member in Gutai Art Association, Kazuo Shiraga had steadily gained historical momentum not only in the art market but also the audiences’ identification.

白髪一雄 種子 不動明王 Shushi Fudomyo ou 1971

白髪一雄 種子 不動明王 Shushi Fudomyo ou 1971

From Shushi Fudo Myou- Ou, we can observe Kazuo Shiraga’s resistance between mental aspiration and physical illustration. Put the Buddhist name aside, from the concept of this work, we can tell he was trying to illustrate his imagination by strength and colors. Meanwhile he used a variety of colors to present the respectable god Fudo myou-ou (a guardian deity in Buddhism) on the canvas where he embodied its physical image by shaping its Sanskrit character shaved from the paint layer with spatula. He successfully expressed his conceptual path by using powerful hand strokes and religious tradition. Moreover, his hand strokes could be easily linked to the calligraphic culture that Japan is equipped with. We might define this as he was trying to present the traces of action carried out with speed.

After becoming a monk in Kyoto, the concept of Kazuo Shiraga’s works had a slight change compared with the 1950’s and 60’s. Unlike his prior works, a series of works related to Buddhism reflecting his desire to represent the intangible notion in his physical works were based on his spiritual sustenance. Shushi Fudo Myou- Ou is worth feeling and interpreting for its provocative hand strokes and conceptual composition.

As a core member in Gutai Art Association, Kazuo Shiraga’s works brought unique experiences for audiences no matter in 1955 or now. Symbolic art- producing way and religion experience enriched his work with power but not violence. Proving the main idea by Gutai’s chief Jiro Yoshihara, “Do what no one has done before,” not only he made works by his foot instead of pen brushes but also used his body as medium that led to distinctive conception. He kept trying the new possibility to break the boundary of arts’ barrier. Kazuo Shiraga abandoned his pen brushes to pursue the ultimate goal that he wished to achieve: breaking down the boundaries of art world as well as life. Since art should be a part of life, or say, spiritual sustenance in his opinion.

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