Around 60 years ago, in 1953, the painter Chuta Kimura (1917-87) departed from Yokohama in a Dutch ship and, two months after arriving in Marseille, took up residence in Paris. From that time until his death in 1987 he stayed in France and continued to produce work pursuing light.
Kimura’s fascination with light may have been a solitary pursuit, against the current of abstract art in that period. However, the life and work of this painter, who explored an illumination of the soul, continues to pose profound questions about painting and light to this day.
With the exceptions of Hisao Domoto (1928-2013), Tetsumi Kudo (1935-90) and Mitsuo Kano (1933-), the artists introduced here were all born in the post-war period and none of them are connected to Kimura in terms of generation. Also, they are all based in different places: from Oscar Oiwa, born in São Paulo as a second generation Japanese, to Leiko Ikemura and Hiroshi Sugimoto, working out of Germany and New York respectively. However, in each piece of work you can see how art should, as Kimura once said, be “something to break confusion”, and hold the potential to do so. As in the glimmering water and light in the painting of Asae Soya, or Takashi Ishida’s work, where painted traces leave the effect to the light filtering in, adventures in light undertaken by contemporary artists are shown. These involve, rather than intense light, a light that flows organically and gently fills our senses, like the flickering images of our memories.
The fascinating exhibited work includes guest artists such as Kagawa-based painter Hidehiko Kuramoto, whose new series Yet, the sunshine through foliage is... focuses on Fukushima, a long-running theme which he has dealt with since the Great East Japan Earthquake. Also dealing with the same event are the film Hikari, written and directed by Aki Kondo, and a video installation by Asae Soya which fills with light.
Artists: Hisao Domoto, Rieko Hidaka, Leiko Ikemura, Takashi Ishida, O JUN, Mitsuo Kano, Chuta Kimura, Takenobu Kobayashi, Aki Kondo, Tetsumi Kudo, Hidehiko Kuramoto, Naofumi Maruyama, Manika Nagare, Sayuri Ogawa, Shinji Ogawa, Oscar Oiwa, Shuji Okada, Asae Soya, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Kentaro Yokouchi
TAKAMATSU ART MUSEUM