Kazuhiro Nishijima, Drawings from Japan

November 1 – 24, 2002
Opening Reception
November 1, 2002
Kazuhiro Nishijima

About the exhibition

Kazuhiro Nishijima
Drawings from Japan

November 1 - 24, 2002
Opening Reception: November 1, 6-9pm
The artist, well know for his performance work throughout Asia, will perform at the opening.

The Performance
TAIGEN: Proto-memory, realization, a feeling of exchange between an origin-memory of the universe and the enactment of a ceremony of an image-analysis as the point of departure for the work. The elements of the performance are described briefly: One naked light bulb is hung from the ceiling and is wrapped in wet cloth. As it swings with the pull of gravity and the earth's movement, the artist writes his reflections on cotton cloth using syu (japanese-vermilion ink) and sumi (japanese-carbon-black ink) with a fude (japanese-brush) and a wooden hammer. Then, it becomes a loincloth on a naked figure. The naked light bulb is struck quietly and cracked. Oxygen enters into the electric bulb and the filament is burned. Just before it burns out, the filament becomes bright with KATSU (a wing-like form), then fizzles out and delivers darkness. In the darkness, some small photogen cells are flown through the air with rubber bands. A flown and retrieved photogen is put into the mouth of the artist and the ceremony of initiation is ended.

The Concept of the Exhibition
TAIGEN: Reflections on proto-memory, a feeling of exchange with an origin-memory of the universe and a picture fantasy analysis work. The artist saw an internal image fantasy when he was in so-called adolescence in 1968 which prompted him to make an instantaneous decision to become an artist. This is the pole where he is firm -- private -- holding in mind a "picture fantasy" and this modus operandi continues till the present. The artist named his intermittent performances in 1988. The word used is TAIGEN, or material realization of a spiritual idea. This word has meaning in terms of the materialization of a concept ("the work was realized in paper and ink") and also in the sense of awakening or understanding ("He suddenly realized its meaning".) This work is still puzzling to the artist -- inside the "picture fantasy" -- TAIGEN -- and he is becoming convinced that it includes almost "all the phenomena which become a starting point for drawing." However, even when the image is drawn, it also tends to produce the illusion that all will be purified. The dangerous feeling that the action will produce a spell also surfaces occasionally as if the "picture fantasy" becomes an object through complete faith in the work. The artist makes his way through all this by depending each time on a deepening self-critical process.

The Exhibition
Approximately 50 drawings (pencil on paper) B4 size, two large drawings (acrylic paint on black cloth) of 39 x 117 inches / 3 x 1 meters, rolled Japanese letter paper, on the floor, a drawing written on cotton, a work area: Japanese writing paper, a pencil and a small table.

The artist will be performing a continuing drawing action during the show from November 1 to 24. Please call the gallery for specific times when Kazuhiro Nishijima will be present and available to the public. Artist from Nogoya, Japan