This time, we tried to demonstrate ‘ma’ in traditional Japanese art by collaborating two unique contemporary artists Yoshisuke Funasaka and Katsu Murakami. They have been working on the theme ‘Space and Dimension’ for three decades. We chose these two artists to multiply the effects of this theme.

On the walls are Funasaka’s drawing-collage works. It was the first showing of his newly developed artworks using thin Mino washi paper from his hometown. He draws random lines on washi paper, tears them, turns them over and pastes onto canvas. As the result, lines that one can never draw with the natural movement of one’s hand appear on the canvas. The same process is repeated several hundred times before one multi-layer drawing-collage is complete. Looking closely, you will see the gradation of lines from the faint bottom layers to the top vivid layers. There are 10 to 15 layers and 150 to 200 pieces of torn paper in one drawing collage. Funasaka uses washi paper, canvas, glue, charcoal, and dermatograph.

Murakami challenged the height of the gallery. His white installation surrounds the center pillar of the gallery to balance and create ‘ma’ between Funasaka works on the walls. The red horizontal installation contrasts with his white and Funasaka’s monochrome. Red symbolizes ‘passion’ and white ‘liberation’. He used 2000 wing-shaped objects for the two installations. Murakami hand-carves bamboo, bends them into wing –shaped frames, pastes paper around them and paints them with acrylic. He then attaches them into wood structures, which he originally designs for a given space, whether it is indoor or outdoor.

Shigeharu Kawakami

Private Gallery Uku

Fukuoka, Japan