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Exhibition

Emerging from the Void

  • 2019/01/19-2019/02/23
  • Tokyo
  • Ryo Hirano

Ryo Hirano, Two Women, pencil and watercolor on paper, 40.0x32.0cm

Sakurado Fine Arts is pleased to announce a solo presentation of works by Ryo Hirano, ‘Emerging from the Void’, which brings together for the first time since 2000, an intimate selection of twenty works on canvas and paper executed between the 1970s and 1990, representing Hirano’s concise and mature approach to abstraction.

Born in 1927 in Oita, Ryo Hirano was a self-taught Japanese artist who entered the art scene in the late 1950s and continued to produce work until his death in 1992. Little known outside his home country, his body of work consists of drawings and paintings on the themes of the human figure and landscape, depicted in an expressive abstract style. During his lifetime, Hirano distanced himself from the capital, working in the suburbs of Kitakyushu in the western part of Japan.

As if responding to the chaos of the postwar era, void and darkness lie at the inception of Hirano’s work. Often depicting images from nature such as insects and plants, self-portraits and scenes of destruction, rendered in an organic and at times grotesque style, the accumulation of lines and tactility of the paint are used to build ambiguous and suggestive forms which float in the pictorial space. The resulting images portray distorted human figures reduced to pure metaphysical being, capturing the fleeting space between light and darkness, known and unknown, life and death.

While deeply rooted in the psychological landscape of postwar Japanese society, Hirano’s work evolved in ebb and flow with the wider context of twentieth-century figurative art, with the influence of Alberto Giacometti, in particular, becoming evident in the early 1970s. Hirano’s expressive brushstrokes reflect the artist’s persistent fascination with humanity, its anxieties and alienation, revealing the often overlooked diversity of painterly expression within Japanese postwar art history.

Hirano’s museum retrospectives include The Ikeda Museum of 20th Century Art (1986), Kitakyushu Municipal Museum of Art (1987, 1997), and Central Museum, Tokyo (1990). His work is also included in several public collections, including those of the Fukuoka Prefectural Museum of Art and Oita Prefectural Art Museum.

*Please be advised that the gallery is closing at 16:00 on the last day of the exhibition, Feb. 23.

Reminiscence

  • 2018/11/06-2018/12/22
  • Paris
  • Daido Moriyama

Left: Daido Moriyama, Untitled (from Passage), 1989-99, Polaroid, 10.8 x 8.9 cm / Right: Daido Moriyama, Untitled (from Bye-bye Polaroid), 2008, Polaroid, 10.2 x 10.2 cm

Sakurado Fine Arts Paris is pleased to announce our solo exhibition of Daido Moriyama, 'Reminiscence'. The show features twenty Polaroids from 'Passage' and 'Bye-bye Polaroid', saturated with the melancholic beauty of life at its most ordinary. While Moriyama is best known for his extremely provocative work from the 60s and 70s, 'Reminiscence' invites you along a quieter path of his career.

At an early stage, Moriyama defied the traditional codes of photography by capturing Tokyo’s hidden aspects using an approach both brutal and lyrical. As he wanders through the city, his camera an extension of his very own arm, Moriyama presses the shutter instinctively, without the use of the viewfinder. The captured images are rough, blurry and out of focus, reflecting the city and its inhabitants’ eagerness to find a new self-definition as they grapple with rapid modernization and the breakdown of traditional Japanese values.

However, Moriyama’s body of work is not only concerned with high-contrast images and gritty subjects, but also with a plainer and more centered investigation of everyday life. Polaroid, which enabled instantly visible images to become a reality, was a medium Moriyama continued to use for many years. Completely untouched by editing or manipulation, Moriyama’s Polaroids are unique pieces that embrace the nostalgic aspect of the medium, while rendering a softer, more personal view of the city.

The monochrome images capturing four popular districts of Tokyo in the series, 'Passage' (1989-99), seem to reflect an apocalyptic world, whereas 'Bye-bye Polaroid' (2008) pays homage to the medium itself, having been created in the same year that the production of instant film ceased. Exhibited together, the two Polaroid series quietly portray the changing scenery and the unchanging aspects of Tokyo - snapshot records of time, reminiscence, and the familiar streets to which Moriyama repeatedly returned.

Future

There are no plans to hold

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