Being Japanese I relate naturally to the Far Eastern traditions of ink wash painting and its calligraphy brushes, sumi ink and “rice” papers. Lively brush strokes are seen everywhere in Japan; on clothing, in advertising, print including manga, and packaging, modern expression is rooted in traditional forms. I was introduced to Nanga, a form of ink painting with restrained use of colour strongly influenced by Zen. I like the art and symbols of religion, and the spontaneous delivery in Japanese and Chinese brush painting.
I am not conscious of having made any choice or decision to use the brush and ink. The depictions are, to me, inherent. What is of sublime or contemplative sense, is captured in form and state with the traditional medium but also way of execution. I feel what I depict is universal, but it remains for now esoteric.
WHAT I DO
I depict the human condition and its components, occupying space in their fundamental existence as parts of their whole. Though what I indicate is normally unseen, it is depictional of our reality. I investigate and explore our being a part of a whole being, who is in and of reality. It is an approach that developed throughout my past occupation as a doctor, and which complemented my medical practice.
I consider my part, on that day, time, moon and place. I gain a direct sense of the various aspects to our individual reality occupying various shapes, which inter-relate and have a relation with our whole. My brush strokes commit ink to this with immediacy.
I use sumi ink with brushes from Japan and China, on various “rice” papers, including “Xuan”, “Washi” and “bark” or “Mulberry” paper of varying sizes. Some of the pieces are wet mounted or bonded onto another sheet of paper, while other works are presented to preserve the individual “wrinkling effect” of paper shrinkage from the drying of ink and water – it can accentuate the forms depicted as determined by the very nature of the medium and the occasion of the delivery.
I also use watercolour papers and, on occasion, canvas. Much of my work originate from the notes and notebooks I keep with fond use of the nibbed pen, biro, pencils, and sometimes charcoal. More recent forays in the digital medium opened me to colour and the use of layers that have brought a dynamic 3-dimensionality to my approach and the forms I depict. I enjoy the feedback I feel between my actuality and my depicting of it; a self-referencing I find with large as well as small paintings.I also use watercolour papers and, on occasion, canvas. Much of my work originate
We, as an identity or self, are a part of a whole being. We are lost in our human condition however, separated and displaced from our whole. Together with and in our reality, we are “projected” by our whole being through his or her brain-spine or CNS (Central Nervous System). Further more, we identify in our self and with what we experience, away from and in exclusion of our whole and so our being a part. There’s the difficulty of approaching our actual self; we are a part of an aparatus for having an experience that cannot be turned to experience our actual self, but can only experience, in our ususal cognitive or knowing way of experiencing, our sense and notion of self. I call it the “self-referencing conundrum”. We keep our selves occupied and busy in “what makes sense” of our reality and with what we can determine “what’s what”, and conclude “I’m it” and “that’s the world out there”.
As a part, we need our whole. To be a part however, is foreign to us as a self or an identity, in our usual cognitive state. I feel our whole self is missing when, in our actuality, we may be in relation with our whole. My hope is that this relation is widely realised, and that my depicting our truth as projection and a projected part of our whole help realise it.