Shigeru Idei: Wolf and Boy A Four Month Residency
Closing Party: June 24 & 25
Shigeru Idei long ago mastered the art of breaking tradition by combining fundamentals of Gyotaku, Byobu, and Washi to exacerbate the disintegration of nationalism. A country that has wholeheartedly embraced foreign pop culture, Japan has been relatively slow to absorb those elements as tropes of fine art, maintaining a fragile fealty for the inherently Nihongo disciplines of ukiyo-e and even manga, but less so western depictions of pop. Idei has incorporated stylized interpretations of English and French children’s book illustrations alongside a calculated, minimalist abstraction that hides the complicated nature of the aggregate imagery. Bold profiles rendered from the ashes of burned washi form faces only when intersected with broken mirror glass and brush-tinted textile. The viewer when gazing upon it, completes the portrait, now both flat and ever-changing.
Statement by Idei:
“Wolf and Boy – Overlap and Confrontation
A picture of a wolf and a boy with a mirror eye came over to my canvas one day several years ago, with an inspiration, as if it was from the heavens. The way they appeared on my work made me think that they visited me rather than I drew them. It showed me new values and messages that were not part of my aesthetic sense until then.
An innocent boy has an angelic connotation.
Wolf is a symbol of fight, conflict and evil.
In the world there are always conflicting values that cannot be divided by the simple composition of good and evil, and the truth is sometimes hidden in contradiction. I feel, however, that, even when we have different positions and conflicts, it is necessary for us to share the same point of view – in other words, to have the same eyes.
On my work, while there are differences in expression on the canvas (differences in lines, planes, textures and materials), they overlap, share and head towards hope. I have worked with the theme of creating new metaphors, by “overlapping” forms of different mediums and expressions, on works other than this series as well. I combine materials such as oil paint, acrylic, black ink, gold leaf, mirror, beeswax and ash.
I am more interested in creating new forms and values than adhering to my own past painting style.”