Hisami Tanaka’s recent solo exhibition at waitingroom in Tokyo presented his latest works, reflecting his graphic design background and an approach to abstract painting unique to the artist. The style in which the pieces were installed in the gallery space itself further emphasized the artist’s dynamic inner relationship between painter and designer.
Hisami Tanaka was born in Ibaraki in 1976 and graduated from Tama Art University, majoring in Design. Recent exhibitions include “windows and the stories” (2011, waitingroom, Tokyo) and “Tokyo Wonder Wall” (2010, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Tokyo).
In previous years, Tanaka was focusing on the “existence and non-existence of the quality and power” for different distinctions in the world. He chose specific motifs that have “quality and power” from the landscape, people, objects around him and restructure them to make them abstracted in his painting. By doing so, he attempted to assimilate them to other elements and flatten the “relation” or “quality” of things around us. However, he starting asking himself about its way and became less confident about having a reason to choose something after a big earthquake in Japan last year. After that, he started choosing “something that doesn’t have power” around him and construct them in his painting.
“I draw just a thing. It can be just a line, just a color and just a paint. I draw a line to just draw it and paint a color to just paint it. It is probably close to a sense that human being lives to live. Additionally, it should be something that is not active and not controlled by outside power because it is “just” a thing. The same philosophy applies to a technique itself too. The thing in front of me on the surface of the painting is not more or less than just itself.
However, there is always some sort of feeling or emotion there because I take my action to paint something. In fact, it is the theme from my point of view that the painting is not logic and there is always a question of why people want a painting in many eras from ancient time.” – Hisami Tanaka
For the artist, a question of “why I make art” is an eternal question that is almost the same as “why we live”. In this exhibition, Tanaka shows a brand new collection of paintings and drawings, expressing the reason why he makes paintings and review the world around us as an artist.
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