洋’ 灘’ 日’ 與雕塑：桑久保 徹 個展
Sea' Sand' Sun' and Sculptures: Toru Kuwakubo Solo Exhibition
展覽時間 Duration：2018 年 3 月 24 號 ( 六 / Sat. ) 至 5 月 13 日
開幕茶會 Opening Reception：2018 年 3 月 24 號 ( 六 / Sat. ) 14:00
藝術家 Artist：桑久保 徹 Toru Kuwakubo
地點 Venue：台北市中正區金山南路一段67巷5號1樓 No. 5, Lane 67, Section 1, Jinshan South Rd, Zhongzheng District, Taipei
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有趣的是，桑久保徹並不單就平面繪畫的創作而滿足，而是更進一步對現代藝術提出論述。他利用自己（Toru Kuwakubo）以及莫內（Oscar-Claude Monet）的姓氏，創造出一位虛擬印象派畫家「Kuwoud Bonet」，也自2014年開始，以這位虛擬畫家展開他一系列的創作。在此系列作中，桑久保徹想像自己是生活在十九世紀的印象派畫家，並以每個不同月份的節氣與風情，將自己帶入不同大師的世界裡。好比塞尚宛如五月的薰風，梵谷則令他聯想起八月的夏夜。以這樣的想法入畫，除了是桑久對本身喜愛的印象派大師的另一種致敬之外，他更希望藉由這樣的時空倒錯，將觀者帶入另一個不同的想像中。這樣由藝術家虛擬出有別於自己的另一個角色身份，所謂「另我（Alter ego）」的創造，不禁讓我們聯想到達達主義大師馬賽爾·杜象（Marcel Duchamp）。杜象在他著名的《噴泉》作品中，將連鎖店購買的陶瓷小便斗署上別名「R. Mutt 1917」；他更曾經在1921年，以一位女性身份蘿絲·瑟拉薇（Rrose Sélavy）的形象出現，似乎意欲挑戰人們對於性別的定義、以及對於傳統的價值觀。杜象透過如此手法，重新審視、思辯人文現象，也和桑久保徹藉由傳統繪畫，冀望對藝術產生另一種定義的想望不謀而和。
When smoke slowly rose from the first steam train at Paris-Gare de Lyon in the late 19th century, Parisian gathered together and chanted the advent of Industrial Revolution. Imagine, in this glorious afternoon with sunshine sparkling on Seine, the train conductor rang the loud train whistle. It was a series of harsh yet inspiring sounds, which seemed to be proclaiming allt he different possibilities awaiting in the next chapter of humankind, and unveiling the surging history of western contemporary art in the 20th century.
“Impressionism” is a well-known art term. Even the general public without formal artistic education can be familiar with this contemporary genre. Impressionism was generated from a group of artists formed in the late 19th century. Its emergence had a significant connection with the social background at that time: the Industrial Revolution accelerating people’s lives, while the progression and popularization of science clarifying the study in optics and chromatics. Most importantly, due to the rise of the middle class stratum, themes of painting were no longer limited to aristocrats, religions, historical heroes or legends, but gradually becoming relevant to our daily life. Impressionism is regarded as the origin of contemporary art in art history, for it not only coincided with the historical process of Western history as addressed above, but has also technically and conceptually resulted in the upsurge of abstract painting in the 20th century. Post-Impressionism, which subsequently surfaced after Impressionism, basically inherited the techniques of impressionist painting while having its central concept against the mere portrayal of the exterior. The Post-Impressionists advocated that painting should demonstrate an artist's subjective emotions and feelings, allowing works of art to sublimate from objective description to subjective expression. The three main Post-Impressionist figures, Van Gogh, Gauguin and Cézanne, had huge impact respectively on the following Expressionism, Fauvism and Cubism.
When facing Toru Kuwakubo's work, we can immediately notice the Impressionist features shown in his paintings: the rapid strokes, the disappearance of outline, the expression of natural light, and his proficiency in applying chromatics. It's hard to imagine a typical Japanese like Kuwakubo has such inherent Western aesthetics. However, if we linger in front of his paintings a bit longer, we could easily perceive another strange atmosphere created by his clever composition, and the bizarre scenarios that are not usually seen in daily life.
| Balanced and rhythmic composition |
Despite all the Impressionist traces, it would be more suitable if we see Toru Kuwakubo with a Post-Impressionist soul within. Behind each of his landscape-like oil painting, Kuwakubo builds up his own fanciful world. He uses the sky, the sea and the shore as the three main subjects to divide his canvas into three, presenting a three-dimensional perspective on 2D surfaces. Just as film director Wes Anderson is known for his obsessively symmetrical aesthetics, such balanced and stable composition has also become the main feature of Toru Kuwakubo’s works. However, we can still sense a looming turmoil in his images, for there is a dynamic impression coming from the artist's brushwork and pigment stacking. Toru Kuwakubo rejects creating outlines, instead, he depicts the clouds, the sea, and the ground with his powerful brush strokes along with the heap of oil paints, situating all natural elements in a moving position: the air flows as time goes by, and the grass swings accordingly. In addition, Toru Kuwakubo’s usage of oil paint pigment has a totally different character from other artists. Although oil paint pigment is known as a pigment, it unexpectedly possess a clay-like quality. Doing an oil painting is more like potting, as the paints are stacked onto the canvas. Despite Kuwakubo’s preference in heavy pigment, his painting still conveys a sense of lightness and airiness. Such contrast not only reflects the artist's unique visual language, but his mastery in applying media.
| A virtual Impressionist |
Interestingly, Toru Kuwakubo is never satisfied with the mere creation of images, but further, he provides his discussion on contemporary art. By combining the surnames of himself (Toru Kuwakubo) and of Oscar-Claude Monet, he created a virtual impressionist painter named "Kuwoud Bonet”. Kuwakubo started a series of works with this virtual artist since 2014. In this series, Toru Kuwakubo imagines himself as Impressionist painters living in the 19th century, and takes a glimpses into these masters’ world by respectively allocating different style of different months to his creations. For instance, Cézanne seems to remind him of the breeze of May, while Van Gogh conveys a feeling of the summer nights in August. Apart from his attempt on paying his tribute to those Impressionist painters, Kuwakubo tries to invite his viewers into the scenarios he created by using such reconstruction of time-space. The virtual identity which sets itself apart from the artist himself, i.e. the "Alter Ego," reminds us of the Dadaist Marcel Duchamp. In his famous artwork “Fountain”, Duchamp signed "R. Mutt 1917," on a porcelain urinal which he purchased in a chain store. In 1921, his female alter-ego “Rrose Sélavy” fully surfaced in public, seemingly with the attempt to challenge people's definition of gender and their values of tradition. Such tactics used by Duchamp to re-examine the humanistic phenomena happens to coincide with Toru Kuwakubo's desire of creating another definition of art through traditional painting.
The brand new series of Toru Kuwakubo directs the viewers into Nunu Fine Art with an illusion of walking into the 19th century Paris. As if surrounded by the sound of the bawled vendor and the scent from outdoor-café, this is where the avant-garde and the traditional coexist. Before you let yourself into Nunu Fine Art, please lay aside the busy pace of Taipei lifestyle, and gracefully roam through the past memories that Toru Kuwakubo has brought us.