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来島海峡大橋 (2023)

I once visited Tokyo Tower on a nighttime walk and saw it as a virtual backdrop. I was once disillusioned because the moon seen from my phone was completely different from the real moon. In this age of sensing realistic experiences relative to digital ones, what can painting do? What is the meaning of taking the time and effort to create?

When considering the materiality of paintings, I paid attention to the obvious but little-acknowledged fact that "size is inherent," and placed it as the axis of my work. In other words, once a painting is physically created, its size will never change. Assuming that the height of the viewer is 170cm, if a 17,000cm work is created, the viewer is confronted with an object 100 times larger than himself. People instinctively feel fear of objects that are larger than they are, but nowadays, when people often use their smartphones, they have fewer opportunities to appreciate large objects as they are (movies are a typical example: no matter how impactful an image is, it is consumed on the smartphone screen). Therefore, I thought that the act of making people aware of size would make sense in this day and age.

In painting, where every technique has been tested by predecessors in the past, the size of the work, including the material, may be a rare frontier, a physical actuality that has not been recovered by technology. Even if the work is photographed with a smartphone, stored in an album, and pinch-out, the impact of touching the work is one of the few elements the artist can control.

This work depicts a portion of the full-scale Kurushima Kaikyo Bridge (*) on a one-meter square canvas. Assuming that the work will be seen in a white cube (at most only from a few meters away), it is difficult to recognize it as a "bridge" at this close distance. Even if it were seen from 100 meters away, it would be too small to capture the whole image. After all, what does this painting show and what is the viewer looking at? Even a familiar, ordinary bridge can be shaken in perception by simply changing the perspective from which we view it, and it no longer appears to be a thing of itself. It is a reminder of how we usually view and perceive things in a monolithic way.

Incidentally, I got the idea of size from children and airplanes. Children have no concept of perspective, and when I said "there is a tiny little man" to someone in the distance, I realized my own bias. Most of what I know as information I have not experienced experientially. I had always wanted to use this feeling as a concept for a work of art, and when I painted a 4m long and 17m wide mural as part of a commission work this year, I remembered once again that I wanted to create a painting as an experience, and I started work on it. In the act of painting, details are prepared without knowing the whole picture, and the whole picture can be recognized only by looking at it from a distance. This gap was new to me.

At first, I thought about creating a simple large work like a mural, but the practical problems of not being able to fit it into the size of the studio and the cost of materials for a work that might not necessarily sell led me to settle on the concept of making it part of a larger work. This was more conceptual and interesting. Also, as I realized later, it is in line with the concept of "capturing an object by shifting the focus," which is the reason why I started making art, and it is also in line with the concept of relativity of perception, which I want to express through my work.

Eventually, I would like to develop this series of works in a site-specific manner by exhibiting them in two locations, one in an open space and the other in a closed space.

(*) A suspension bridge approximately 4 km long spanning the Kurushima Straits in the Seto Inland Sea. It is also my own counter expression, since I myself live in Ehime and the bridge connects Shikoku to Honshu.














1,000 × 1,000 mm

Acrylic on canvas

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