Aki Eimitzu / Nobuaki Onishi

Aki Eimizu

Previous painting, by which I mean Western painting and painting that follows in the Western tradition, has frequently attempted to depict light as such. And some works seem to contain their own internal light. This interest in light may be due to the fact that color cannot exist without light.

It may also arise from our inability to forget an older memory of painting as a window through which light shines.Or is it related to the whiteness of the canvas or the light reflected by the flat surface that most artists see when they begin to work?

If the former is true, painting is an act of capturing light outside the pictorial surface. If the latter it is a way of gradually diminishing the amount of light flowing over the white support by applying paint.

Eimizu Aki’s paintings do something different from either of these approaches. They do not seem to weaken the inner light but actually strengthen it as much as possible. At the same time, no matter how intricately the surface is manipulated, these pictures never get close to the condition of being nothing but physical matter. The picture plane takes on ambivalent depth, making the picture into a special entity that seems to emit light.

I do not know what sort of new work Eimizu will produce for this exhibition. I imagine that viewers will find themselves gazing at fine dots and curved lines that appear from a place beyond the canvas while bathing in the light they emit. These hazy, faint images might be described as signs. Because of the nature of the images, the viewer will not read a narrative in them. This is the sort of painting that may lend itself to association with personal memories that have been forgotten.

Standing in front of the painting one is enveloped in pure white light. Following the signs, it is possible to project one’s thoughts toward something far away. The time spent with this painting will be extremely pleasurable.

Maeyama Yuji

Curator, The Museum of Modern Art, Saitama, Tokyo

Nobuaki Onishi

Nobuaki Onishi created objects by casting transparent resin into moulds which were made out of objects found in our daily life. Onishi then skilfully painted parts of his work in order to replicate a realistic look of the objects, and this leads his work to become a unique piece of art. He makes art which is hard to tell if it was real at first sight. He is interested to see how viewers respond to the superficial appearance of the objects and how they distinguish the artificial objects from the real.

This is something that happened to my mother in the past. Someone witnessed her in a completely different place from where she as a person exists. I had no sense of fear or curiosity of the occult towards this so-called doppelganger effect, but the fact that the presence was there at all felt more real to me then my mother who actually spoke and breathed.

My work consists mostly of using casting and woodblock printing techniques with resin, to scrape off the surface of an object, and then transitioning it to a different material through the application of colours that are indistinguishable from the real thing. For example, in using glass as the motif in my work titled (garasu), it has a surface that is as close to glass as one could achieve, and yet, is an object that exists as a completely different entity from glass, torn apart between these two bodies. The clearer the glass, the clearer the images of the scene opposite transferred to this side, and vice versa with equally clear images of the scene on this side reflected and shown. In other words, it is a unique object that exists in an ambiguous territory, in which the more transparency there is, the more tension there is.

Glass attains its most elevated material texture when it cracks, shatters into smithereens, or occasionally cuts my hand. Superbly accurate work lies in extracting only the surface details of the glass and nothing more. That surface is not converted into something else, nor is there any verbal sharing of emotions or a theme for making the right judgment. However, there is no denying the fact that the exact same surface as the glass is present, along with the dissimilarities.

When the object is transformed into another object, with all of its human relationships severed even while retaining the same surface as glass, its presence becomes “nothing.” Because it no longer exists as

something this or something that, it actually becomes more powerful, engaging the humanistic senses and memories, as if to become a container for all kinds of consciousness to flow into. Just like the Japanese sense of nature, things lying around like rocks or shards of glass at times become the memory of weightiness, at times become humor, and at times become paranormal entities. This could be described asthe doppelganger transformation of all things and facts.

Nobuaki Onishi