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Walls without Images / Forms without Colors / Drawing without Traces / Conditions of Painting
Ryuhei Fujita
2017 9.2 - 9.18
KOMAGOME 1-14 cas (Komagome, Tokyo)
13:00 - 19:00 (Closed on Mon, Tue & Wed, except 9.18)

Imagine your impression before a painting of Vincent van Gogh.
You don't own the painting as the property belongs to someone else.
Then, who owns your impression? The property owner? Of course, not.
Gogh's painting is a vehicle of formless impression, its seed, wind, and flower.
Hope my body also becomes such a vehicle, be it a seed, a wind, or a flower.
Even if unable to become all of these at once, one may try to be at least one of these.
You too are either of these, whichever you're an artist or a beholder. Let's see what I'm becoming today.
How are you?
- Ryuhei Fujita

At KOMAGOME 1-14 cas, Tokyo, TANA Gallery Bookshelf is pleased to present "Walls without Images / Forms without Colors / Drawing without Traces / Condition of Painting," a solo exhibition of Japanese painter Ryuhei Fujita on his experimental practices to question the nature of painting and authenticity of aesthetic experiences.

Focusing on painting as an act and its frameworks, not on its content or form, Fujita draws a number of lines and curves in space in such a way that anyone could have performed it alike. The field resulting from his extensive drawing becomes a multi-layered environment which simultaneously is his own production, a frame for someone else to imagine his or her own vision out there just like an afterimage, and a specific demonstration of the very framework enabling it. This recursive structure tries to release a work from an artist-as-creator and invite each beholder to engage with the work more deeply along with recession of the privileged owner; and numerous trajectories of his drawing become circuits for these two standpoints to relocate the concept of painting from a specific work to each individual experience, and from an artist to all people.

Behind his attempt is a contradiction between the essential freedom of "painting" and its historical difficulty. For human beings, the act of "painting" is so fundamental that it has since Lascaux cave paintings taken place all around the world, similarly or variously, freely without any reason to support it. In contract, the modern history of painting has developed mainly in the West as a sort of dialectical progressivism, now so matured as to declare the end of painting at an end of continuous updates on its thematic contents and formalistic styles. At an increasingly narrower vanguard of the progressivist history, painting has lost its potency as an avant-garde while witnessing the declining legitimacy of theories that had once grounded reasons to paint in each art-historical paradigm. Still, the history has overshadowed contemporary art, where the act of painting faces a deep-rooted loss of motivations, in spite of its fundamental freedom. Starting as a painter, Fujita also faced the difficulty and refrained himself from painting at all for years, in pursuit of frameworks for him to start painting without deceiving himself.

At some point, Fujita discovered the ground as a framework. Without any fixed viewpoints or boundaries, the extending surface of the earth blurred autonomous identity of a work of art, which allowed him to draw as an ambiguous agent that simultaneously behaves an artist and a beholder. Tilting his vertical sight to the horizontal, inserting his body into a base-materialistic reality of the friction of painting materials and the ground, roaming in space guided by pulse-like drawing in certain patterns, and accumulating its repetition and difference to the site, Fujita's earliest production attained authentic freedom of painting by consciously approaching to a primitive act like graffiti by kids. Yet, not just bound to the primitive drive, Fujita's inspiration has critically transformed into diverse framework experiments with a variety of materials and spatial conditions. The simple dynamism of his anonymous drawing that can sneak inside the bodily feeling of someone else has come to take other forms like a ribbon floating in the air, even released off from his own hand, and the liberating horizontality of the earth has been translated into more-dimensional and many-sided continuous planes that connect separate spaces flexibly.

Further pursuing his practices toward what can be called the painting of formlessness and anonymity, Fujita's third solo exhibition offers a site to present walls without images, forms without colors, and drawing without traces, as possible conditions to frame an essential nature of the art of painting. It also attempts at fabricating a framework out of various conditions tested through the history of painting, such as materials, spatialities, compositions or institutional analytics, now detached from their once-fixed sets as certain theories, in order to enable the fundamental energy of art to come into being. What is painting? What is art? What is the exhibition space? And, for whom do they exist? Please enjoy the exhibition as a site for those questions, as well as a demonstration of an artist's answers.

Ryuhei Fujita
was born in 1979 in Kyoto, Japan.

Solo Exhibitions:
"E de kazaru node no kokoro [lit. The art of presenting a space with painting]" 2010 (plan-B, Tokyo)
"Sobyo Chakusai Roji-de Kabe-ni Kami-he [lit. Drawing Coloring In-Alley To-Wall On-Paper]" 2016 (explosion tokyo, Tokyo)


TANA Gallery Bookshelf
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