h, painting
painting to the public (open-air)

year: 2012
form: collective acts
material: billboard
photo credit: Takashi Fujikawa
credits: created with Aoyama Meguro, Tokyo

artist’s notes:

A new context for producing a painting.

Both the acts of making and showing a painting can be performed "unplugged," ie, without an electric power source. Such actions can be performed under natural light, which means we can make a painting without relying on problematic nuclear power plants.

During the Meiji period, around the end of the 19th century, a group of Japanese artists influenced by famous Japanese painter Seiki Kuroda, who studied in Europe, formed what became known as the School of Open-Air Painting, or in Japanese "gai-koh-ha" ("school of natural light"). I slightly reinterpreted this name to mean "without using artificial light" - referring to paintings produced in open-air situations independent from any electric power supply - as a name with new meaning/context for painting now, that is, painting practice post the disaster of March 11 ("3.11") in Japan, and as a key phrase for addressing such painting-production and its political meaning, i.e., "airing" Japan's recent problems with radioactive contamination.

In 1964, Hiroshi Nakamura and Koichi Tateishi a.k.a. Kanko-Geijutsu-Kenkyujo (Research Center for Art Tourism) displayed huge paintings to the public in rush hour at Tokyo Station, in a project they dubbed "Walking Open Air Gallery." Here the name "Open-Air" and their action were a reference to the Meiji School of Open-Air Painting. And in my view, both actions in the open air can be connected to the present context of painting in post-3.11 Japan.

In this sense I propose an event that involves walking outside and showing a painting as a sort of protest. Let us counter the image of the artist/painter in Japan as not social or political by going out into the streets. Because now we know the political meaning of making a painting, or rather the painting itself.





1964年、中村宏と立石紘一による観光芸術研究所によって、二人の巨大な絵画がラッシュアワーの東京駅周辺を闊歩した。「路上歩行展」の英訳は「walking open air gallery」であり、「外光派」は「open-air painter」と書かれる。明治の「外光派」による「屋外制作」は64年の「路上歩行」へと言葉と行為を通して繋がり、そして震災以後の絵画制作が含み持つ現在の文脈へと接続する。


anonymous participants (2012/3/24)