|Satisfied with the isolated "other world": Junji YAMADA|
|Written by You GOSHIKI|
|Published: September 27 2008|
fig. 1 "CHERRY TREE 07-07" (2007), 22.5x32cm, Intaglio on Photo, ed.2. Courtesy of Shinobazu Gallery, copyright © 2008 Junji Yamada
Every art work of Junji Yamada is purely, intensely beautiful, and efforts to search for appropriate adjectives seem to come to nothing. The graceful black-and-white world triggering a sigh of sympathy sometimes suggests a lonely feeling of being left behind as in "CHERRY TREE 07-07" (2007)[fig. 1], or creates a frightening atmosphere of deafening silence as in "FOREST-ANIMALS 08-09" (2008)[fig. 2]. Each of his art works has its own complete world.
Yamada’s art works of the recent 10 years have in common his own technique, Intaglio on Photo, but also go through a clear transition in motif and composition. For example, "on the table #79" (1998)[fig. 3] in which small plastic balls in two colors are arranged on a table as if giving a streaked appearance, "on the table #104" (1999)[fig. 4] in which apples (natural ones, both in the process of being peeled (passage of time), and having peeled*1 stand in neat rows over the entire canvas. These works show us his focus on expressing themes using real objects as motifs, and his interest in composition.
In "DEPARTMENT-STORE 04-10" (2004)[fig. 5] and "on the table #201" (2005)[fig. 6], he uses three-dimensional shapes he had created himself. The composition is not focused on a particular motif anymore but the viewpoint is set back or upwards in order to contain "the surroundings" of the motif.
Mr. Umezu, President of Galerie SUIRAN in Maebashi-city, Gunma, who has known Yamada well since he began his career, looks back on that period and says, "In the case of an actual object as a motif, its image has such huge influences on the art work that it dominates the canvas world. In order to express his imaginary world, he then started to create his motif object by himself". At the same time in composition, he moved to "accumulate" the numbers and kinds of motifs by creating his own three-dimensional motifs, focusing more on the motif itself. His focus point has therefore, been extended from "the immediate location of the motif" to "its surroundings such as a town or scenery" or "where it lives". (Quotation from the comments of Mr. Umezu)
In the series of his art works exhibited this summer at Shinobazu Gallery and Art Gallery X in Takashimaya Tokyo, the white of the plaster has been further enhanced and the "other world" with its black-and-white beauty has been totally separated from the visitors’ world.
fig. 4 "on the table #104" (1999), 91×200cm, Intaglio on Photo, ed. 1. Courtesy of Galerie Suiran, copyright © 2008 Junji Yamada
fig. 3 "on the table #79" (1998), 114×178cm, Intaglio on Photo, ed. 1. Courtesy of Galerie Suiran, copyright © 2008 Junji Yamada
Yamada’s plaster, which is a three-dimensional actual media, has the sense of a flexible liquid that has melted away, rather than a solid, cold and tactile impression. In "MUSHROOMS 08-11" (2008)[fig. 7], white mycelium is about to be born from the ground. His choice of motif is not limited to living forms, it can also be a concrete construction as in "CITY 07-14" (2007)[fig. 8]. Even this inorganic motif can offer a feeling that a white, obscure plaster "organism" covers everything. This is the "proliferating image".*2
His art works in which the white of the plaster conquers the whole, and a world can be introduced into the viewpoint, produce a new effect using his own technique, Intaglio on Photo.
In the method of "direct print on black-and-white printed photographic papers using an etching press"*3, his motif objects, which he molds himself, are cut off from the outer world by means of a filter - the camera lens - to be enclosed in the art world. Putting a finish by "direct print on the original photographic papers (silver gelatin print) and additional etching (technique for copper engraving)"*4, the layers between the world of the motif world and that of the viewer are thickened.
fig. 6 "on the table #201" (2005), exhibited in VOCA2006, 114x183cm, Intaglio on Photo, ed. 5. Courtesy of Galerie Suiran, copyright © 2008 Junji Yamada
fig. 5 "DEPARTMENT-STORE 04-10" (2004), 182x122cm, Intaglio on Photo, ed. 3. Courtesy of Galerie Suiran, copyright © 2008 Junji Yamada
His original world using three-dimensional forms is the product of his imagination. It is separated from our world by visual films using the "Intaglio on Photo" technique. Because the white of the plaster shines so brilliantly, it becomes more unrealistic and raises awareness of the "other world". Mr. Umezu describes how Yamada strongly and logically challenges creation and development. The beauty of his art works, which attract domestic and international fans, is the result of his great curiosity and willingness to continuously experiment in three areas: technique, composition and motif.
* Intaglio on Photo...Yamada's original technique of direct print on black-and-white printed photographic papers (baryta papers) using the etching press. In comparison with intaglio printing such as copperplate printing on plain paper using a press, it allows both smooth and deep tones, characteristic of gelatin silver prints. The texture produced by ink attached on the surface of the paper, is characteristic of intaglio printing.*5
* Contact regarding Yamada and his art works: Shinobazu Gallery tel: 03-3271-3810
fig. 8 "CITY 07-14" (2007), 50×100cm, Intaglio on Photo, ed. 4. Courtesy of Shinobazu Gallery, copyright © 2008 Junji Yamada
fig. 7 "MUSHROOMS 08-04" (2008), 30×30cm, Intaglio on Photo, ed. 5. Courtesy of Shinobazu Gallery, copyright © 2008 Junji Yamada
Junji YAMADA, solo exhibtion
|Last Updated on July 06 2010|