Christina Leslie's Portraits

N.L.S., A New Local Space

Deborah Caroll Anzinger's artist run residency and exhibition space in Kingston


Leasho Johnson's Provocative Re-interpretation in 'Canopy Guild'

Light Sensitive

Marlon James' black and whites

Annalee Davis: ON THE MAP

Caribbean Political Documentary

Saturday, December 18, 2010

ghostly white

ARTSBAR@Rissei is an annual large exhibition of student work from art majors around the Osaka and Kyoto area of Japan. It was also an opportunity to have your works seen by future collectors and other art lovers.  It was good to see how much dedication was put into the show by the students, in fact the craftsmanship was quite high in many of the works but that is something I do notice here in Japan. There is great commitment to making something which even if it obeys its own aesthetic of simplicity or handicraft, is often technically lovely. I walked through the halls of the now abandoned Rissei Elementary school with its creaking board floors and long dark passages and thought I could see a pattern. Perhaps I was finding an aesthetic or cultural perspective or perhaps it was my outsiders reading of it. Below I have put some of the works that seemed to come together in its own theme. There were many others of note but for this purpose, being selective will illustrate more clearly.
Tomoko Tamura 田村 智子

Ashida Fuuma 芦田 風馬
Above, Hashimoto Tomonari 橋本 知成
Below, Kazusato Ooishi 大石 かずさと 

There was a aura about the works that was  repeated in the way the work was made and composed. A feeling of it being just barely there, fleeting, a thought realized for a moment and a feeling of a presence. In works such as the school desks made out of tracing paper, a school desk made out of barely perceptible wire, paper houses in old wash stands, portraits made out of melting ice, your thoughts could hover between wonder at the ease of destruction and wonder that the work had the strength to exist as is.

In other works there was a strong feeling of discomfort at being in the same space with it but also an inability to look away because of its strikingness. A gigantic and monstrous baby doll which you realise might just as easily come to life, when you think about it in the context of films like Tottoro or Spirited Away.

Artist Currently Unknown
The work indeed seemed delicate and precious but also acted as some kind of transport to a time or place or a memory. Of course uses of colour is also a main contributor to this. Colour is often kept quite limited by  utilizing only the raw materials and maybe slightly enhancing them. So the use of white and fragile or transforming materials seems to be what the future art stars in Japan lean towards.  I wonder if the art market is so fine tuned now that we can actually forecast trends for the next season like the fashion industry does?
Kimura Kento 木村 健人

Whether it is cultural aesthetic or trending there I think there may be a coming strand of contemporary art that goes beyond the coolness of minimalism. Work which is quiet and reflective but also uncanny in a way that you feel in the pit of you stomach. Work which bears an aura I refer to as being ghostly white.

Sai Jyungyoku 崔 じゅんぎょく

I am wondering what the trends or developing aesthetic in the various Caribbean islands are like now...