Writings

Surface and Depth

2015 May 31


I’m interested in surface and depth within painting. Let me explain the process I use to make my paintings.
Firstly, I paint a figure (in this case, a skull) on the canvas, after which I place many small dots of different colors that correspond to the colors used to depict the initial figure.
 As I continue to place the dots on the canvas, the shape of the figure eventually appears to move behind the surface.
I like this kind of sensation, so I selected “surface and depth” as the theme of my painting. It looks so strange that the flat space has both surface and depth, don’t you think?
 To me, the dots indicate the place that I occupy while the figure behind the surface points to another place, the so-called “other world”. The painter can come and go between this place and that other place through the painting.
 The Hanamichi of the Kabuki theatre gave me the hint for this idea. The Hanamichi is a long raised platform connecting the back of the theater where the audience sit to the main stage. The Kabuki actor can enter a fictional world by walking through the Hanamichi, and return to the real world by walking back through it.
 I think this applies to painting, too. The surface of the painting seems to be equivalent to the Hanamichi in Kabuki. I can enter the painting through the surface, in the same way that the actor of Kabuki can enter the stage through the Hanamichi.