This blog intoroduces Critique Sessions held at Youkobo Art Space, Tokyo. The sessions are for artists, who present their artworks at gallery or studios, to receive constructive feedbacks. It is also an opportunity for the participants including artists, workers in art industry, staff members and visitors, to exchange open discussions.
Participants: Tatsuhiko and Hiroko Murata, Erik Sille,
Nic Bastin, Mr.Tsuruta (printmaker/ friend of Ikegaya)
Facilitator: Utako Shindo
Documentation: Yuuri Kabata
requested the participants to initiate the session and share their impressions
and thoughts without him giving explanation at the beginning.>
Hiroko: My image of iron is of a solid,
dense, and dark-coloured material, but upon moving near to your sculptures they
seem to have been created quite effortlessly. Past works gave me the impression
of being very thick in appearance, so how has it changed with these works?
Ikegaya: I have certainly used iron
with real density before, but for this exhibition I wanted to show iron not as
a solid substance, but as a material expressing a sort of landscape. Iron is
also an easy material to work with, which was another reason for my selecting
Hiroko: Is it the first time to use
wire in a linear way?
Ikegaya: I have used wire mesh before,
but yes I am using wire linearly here for the first time. I am including it
here in the same sense that “blots” are used in ink painting. Wire is not a solid
substance but active, that is the reason why it was desirable in this work.
Erik: It reminds me of the feeling of
being stuck in a landscape. It leaves the impression that you are immersed in
wind. I have an interest in the origin of the use of circular forms adopted
within the work. They are also reminiscent of a ‘tomographic’ image (CT scan or
MRI scan) or an x-ray. In contrast to emphasizing the strength of the frame,
perhaps the wire can be understood as a kind of drawing.
Ikegaya: The circular forms, depending
on how the direction of each is positioned within a structure, possess the
image of being in motion. In addition, they also have the role within the
structure of giving it more power. The wire was also initially included as a
preventative measure against earthquakes, but in actuality I worked on them
with the sense that it was a way of “drawing in the space”. As suggested in its
title “clouded echoes”, there is an image in the work of sound permeating a
wide expanse on into the distance. Bringing people to imagine themselves in the
wind is also close to my aim.
Nic: The point you make of expressing
softness through the use of iron which possesses such a heavy image is
interesting for me. The relation between drawing and sculpture is also
compelling. If you stare at them as a flat surface by closing one eye, it is as
if you are a drawing in space. How does the limiting of materials come about
within your process of creation?
Ikegaya: I was aware of trying to make
the least construction in order to express lightness, while I also placed an
importance on preserving a space where your field of view can move freely.
Erik: One thing which came to mind
upon seeing the work was that it looked as if a tectonic plate has been
hollowed out, and placed on a pedestal with a rabbit on top.
Ikegaya: I didn’t have any image like
that, but because I have set them to fit the height of my line of vision, it
will look different depending on the person. (this was said in reference to
Erik being tall)
Tsuruta: I don’t know if it is because
I have little experience of viewing sculptural work, but it was fresh for me to
see the outward expressive qualities which the materials themselves possess.
Tatsuhiko: I think the lighting in the
exhibition is too strong. Perhaps if it was a little darker, they would appear
lighter. (→the lights are turned off)
Tatsuhiko: Unexpectedly, the darker
light does give them a heavier impression than the brighter light.
Hiroko: The darker light emphasizes
the ‘aspect’ of form which adds a stronger compositional impression to the
exhibition, whereas the brighter light makes the work musical and lighter.
Utako: The brighter light makes the
contrast clearer and gives a graphical and airy impression.
Tatsuhiko: If we talk about
the light, the impression left by the shadows will also change depending on the
positioning of the lighting.
Utako: How do you come to decisions
about the structure of the exhibition, including the lighting?
Ikegaya: The venue is in an L shape,
and it is a thrilling space to work in. I changed the composition of some
elements at the time of installation, and coming into contact with the venue also
brought other new ideas to mind. For example, perhaps it would have been
interesting if the elements hanging down had been kinetic.
Erik: The idea of moving elements is
really interesting. It might have been interesting if, in combination with the
title “clouded echoes”, the shadows moved as if like “echoes”. I’m sure echoes
realized in visual form would be interesting.
Kabata: I stared at the work thinking
that they were organic forms, but when thinking about it forms which can be
said to be organic are often very logical in character, and the freedom of this
freehanded approach is perhaps characteristic of the artist’s hand.
was great attention paid by the participants in the artist’s aim of sublimating
the profound and solid qualities of iron within an image of spatial extension
and musical airiness, and his interest in and enjoyment of the pursuit of
lightness. The thoughts of Erik Sille contributed occasionally throughout also added
excitement to the discussion. It was a critique session in which it was
possible to sense the airiness of the work of an artist with a rich experience
in his particular craft.