観自在 | GUAN
Duration : 11:00-19:00 (closed on Monday)
Opening : 2023.05.13-2023.07.09 Postponed until August 6, 2023
Venue : Room 108, No. 3, Lane 1363, Middle Fuxing Road, Xuhui District, Shanghai, China 200031
Tel : +86 (0)21 5496 1918
Web : https://www.shunartdesign.com
Artist : 前田 正宪｜Masanori MAEDA (b.1964)
[Certainty] Generated by [Uncertainty]
On a stormy afternoon, I turned on the TV alone and watched the movie “Drive my car” adapted from Haruki Murakami’s short story on Netflix. Those who survive are always missing those who left. We love someone and betray them while loving them. The dialogue in the movie was trenchant which moved the audience. I don’t know if this trenchancy comes from the author, playwright, or director. Anyway, I plan to review the original work before reading his new work.
In daily life, we are always hurt by the closest people. Everything is changing, and the uncertainty makes us uneasy and anxious. The more you trust, the more you care, so the wounds that don’t bleed are hidden deep and unknown. There are always endless sequins on the carpet of the room, but no one wants to reveal that secret because even so they don’t want to lose. Many uncertainties come together to generate one certainty, and perhaps some things have already slowly passed away. I stubbornly stood still, unwilling to take my own path, but turned around and see you gazing in the distance. Standing alone in the blue sky after the storm, a very short rainbow suddenly appeared in front of me. I was not surprised by the rainbow after the rain, but I disliked that the shape of the rainbow was not perfect enough and the time it stayed was not long enough.
Maeda’s abstract paintings were minimalist, and quiet, like the skyline at 4 o’clock before dawn, I heard my mother singing a lullaby in my ear. In his early paintings, there were descriptions of skeletons, crows, and other concrete objects, and his Japanese painting skills were really good. Recent paintings have been more minimalist and serene, the glitter of the Nihongahas a silent assertion, a certainty to delineate the [shadow] on the picture.
Then, finally, I started dancing alone in the rain. You said that I would catch a cold. Then quietly go away without a farewell.
The artist is not yet able to attend the opening ceremony, and the work has arrived in Shanghai first. Perhaps the visa policy would be eased, and he can come to Shanghai as the exhibition is about to end. Who knows what will happen tomorrow.
Shun in Tokyo
Masanori MAEDA (b.1964)
1964 Born in Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan
1991 Obtained BA, Tokyo University of the Arts, Major in Nihonga
Lives and works in Ibaraki, Japan
Selected Solo Exhibitions
1993 L’espoir selection | Ginza Surugadai Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
Solo Exhibition, Nozaki Museum, Tokyo, Japan
2007 Toride Art Project, Ibaraki, Japan
2009 Unseen, Wada Garou Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
2011 After Life, Wada Garou Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
2013 The Other Side: Souldust, Wada Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
2014 Gardenscape, Wada Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
2015 TAKAMAGAHARA, Shibata Etsuko Art Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
Elegant Simplicity, Amu Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
2016 Waters of March, Shibata Etsuko Art Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
2018 Both Forgotten, Shibata Etsuko Art Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
Both Forgotten #2, Jun Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
2020 Opening Ceremony, A Lighthouse called Kanata, Tokyo, Japan
2021 Silence, Shun Art Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
2022 Silence Area, Maeda Hiromi Art Gallery, Kyoto, Japan
2023 Inner Sympathy, galleryemmyart, Tokyo, Japan
Compared with acrylic or oil painting materials, the Japanese pigments used in Nihonga are not only complex but also difficult to be effectively used in abstraction. It is this complexity that gives the genre called Nihonga its captivating allure, and an emerging school of contemporary Japanese painters is bringing this centuries-old tradition, previously leaning heavily on figurative painting, into the 21st century with bold colors and striking abstractions. Masanori MAEDA is one of the pioneers.
The prestigious Tokyo Art University is recognized as the most difficult art university to be admitted to in Japan, its glittering alumni essentially comprise the modern art history of Japan since the Meiji Period. Maeda graduated from this university and won the Ataka Prize. The artist’s early figurative works are quiet and implicit, the simple colors have the slightest changes, the glimmer of time is attached to the depicted still life, and the sight is kept in an eternal moment for a long time. In recent years, Maeda has renewed his focus on abstraction, a style of painting that he had always wished to paint, inspired by the simplicity of the Mono-ha movement and the pine trees of the legendary Medieval Japanese painter Hasegawa Tohaku. His brushstrokes reveal a tension in the void, which contains hidden unknowns, as if it is the sensibility honed in the cold and windy winter, serenity and gracefulness. Maeda tries to capture the superposition between “visible and invisible” in the image. The elements of life and death, pain and happiness are juxtaposed, once forgotten, the audience can enter another realm of transcendence, tranquility, and power.
Maeda has won many awards, including the Ataka Prize of the Tokyo University of the Arts, the Fuirann Award for Best Artwork, and the second prize of the Chicago International Art Competition. His works have been exhibited at major international art fairs and successfully auctioned at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong. His works were collected by institutions such as Ryumon Temple Collection in Tokyo, Tokyo University of the Arts.