The grid has played an essential role in almost all my work. So, today I want to write a bit of what exactly it represents. Although in the world of fine arts, the most familiar grid is the perspective, a method of translating 3D objects to a 2D surface, mine is unrelated. It comes from the textile tradition, where the warp and weft intersect to construct a woven fabric. During my undergraduate years, I extensively studied various textile techniques. This experience has radically changed how I create.

For example, in a piece of cloth, the foundation is made by setting up the warp and then adding the weft. Patterns can be made by altering the weft in various ways, which makes the underlying grid more discreet. Nonetheless, the original structure directly influences the outcome. It is entirely different from how a traditional painting is done on a canvas, where you are free to express whatever you desire on a clean slate. Working with a structural element is what makes the textile approach unique. That is what you see in my works. There, the grid represents a framework, a premise, order, and logic. It is an element to be respected yet challenged at the same time.



グリッド(格子)について


グリッドそのもの、あるいはそれを意識した形状が、いつしか自分の作品によく現れるようになっていました。今日はその謎に少し迫ってみます。美術の世界ではグリッドと言えば、目の前の三次元空間をキャンバスなどの二次元に再現するために生み出された、遠近法がまず思い浮かぶかと思います。しかし私のはそれとは関係がなく、むしろ織物のタテ糸とヨコ糸に類似したものと言えます。大学時代にテキスタイルを専攻し、織りをはじめとする伝統的に手工芸と呼ばれるさまざまな技法を学びました。その時に得た物作りの感覚が今なお抜けていないと感じます。その感覚が、どう言うものであるのかを織物を例にとって簡単に説明します。

まずタテ糸を張り、次にヨコ糸を徐々に入れていくことによってグリッド状の構造体ができてきます。ヨコ糸に工夫を加えることによって多様な表現が可能となり、結果として地の構造体が変化して見えたりします。しかしこの「地」がたとえ隠れていても表の表現と密接にかかわっています。それはキャンバスがあらかじめ用意されていて、そこへ自由に描いていくと言う一般的な絵画的手法とは根本的に違うものです。まず構造体を設定し、それを利用して表現すると言うのが上記で述べたテキスタイル的感覚だと言えます。その手法をあえて工芸と言うコンテクストから切り離し、ドローイングに応用したのが私の作品です。その中でグリッドはベースや前提、規律やロジックといったものを表しています。それに忠実でありながらも、逸脱していく要素を表現するのが一つの狙いでもあります。




Diagram for the series Matchbox Park, 2021

シリーズ「マッチ箱公園」のための展開図



From the series, The Game of Life, 2019

シリーズ 「アミダ画」より



From the series, Folds, 2014

シリーズ「折もの」より

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The large park right by where I live is where I’ve been getting a lot of my inspiration lately. It is a familiar place. While growing up, I thought of it as my enormous backyard. However, when I first returned to the park after being away for many years, I was surprised to see the change. I noticed these protective measures being taken in various forms. Cautionary signs were everywhere warning users of the hidden dangers of the park. One stated not to play on the apparatus when wet and slippery. Another said to watch out for a long branch that was sticking out. Really? Is this necessary?! has always been my reaction. My favorite so far is the thick synthetic mats that are placed under the swings. These are the most provocative to me. I suppose it’s safer to land on this material than on natural soil. But it’s entirely in the way of having fun. As far as playing on the swing goes, I remember that it was the best after it rained and when water puddles formed under them. You had to show skill; otherwise… I understand it’s done all in the name of safety, but it certainly changes the way we approach the world. The other day at the park, I came across something unexpected after the last bit of rain. I discovered water puddles in some weathered mats. How exciting it was to see. What do we do now?



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This cast iron paintbrush stand originally belonged to my grandmother, who is a calligrapher. It was all covered in ink, so I started cleaning it but stopped halfway, realizing that it was an act of erasing my grandmother's traces. Now that I am using it, it has specks of yellow and red on it, and it's starting to feel like an ideal collaboration.

My grandmother is one of the most dedicated artists I know who I adore and admire. She practiced calligraphy up until her mid-nineties when she moved to a nursing home. She initially took lessons in her adolescence for a few years, along with flower arrangement and tea ceremony. She took up calligraphy again when my mother, her only child, had grown. My grandfather passed away very young, so when my family lived in the United States, she lived alone in Japan. Much of her time was dedicated to calligraphy and tending her beautiful garden. She was never interested in fame or commercial success. Calligraphy was part of her daily life and simply a lifestyle.



アトリエにあるお気に入りの物、魚の形をした筆置き


この鋳物の筆置きはもともと書道家の祖母の物でした。墨まみれで真っ黒だったので濡れた布で拭き始めたのでしたが、ここに残る祖母の記録を消してしまう行為であることにはたと気づき、途中で辞めたのでした。今では祖母が残した地色に私の黄色や激しい桃色の絵の具がちらほら加わり、コラボ感覚で楽しんでいます。私の最も尊敬するアーチストの一人でもある祖母は、90才半ばでホームに入るまでずっと書道を続けていました。最初はうんと若い頃にお稽古事としてお花やお茶とともに始め、一度は辞め、一人娘である母が成長してからまた習い始めたようです。祖父が早くに他界し、同居していたわれわれも海外に移り、一人暮らしとなった祖母にとって書道と庭の手入れが生活の中心でした。書道家として知名度を上げたり、儲けたり、といった事に全く興味のなかった彼女の好きな言葉が「精進」でした。

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