Naomi SASAKI and Tomoko MAEDA
 "On "Seeing""

 

Invitation card

installation view
Tomoko Maeda
Naomi Sasaki

It was nearly half a century ago, in 1952, that Gaston Bachelard declared, "The world wishes to be seen." This was a metaphor he used for modern painting, in reference specifically to Claude Monet's work.
Over these fifty years, people have come to unquestioningly accept the notion of autonomy as part of the modern mentality. It cannot be denied that in some part this has led to an impoverished state of artistic expression.
The myth of originality too has contributed to the situation.

During this period, what have artists been seeing? Was it perhaps artisticexpression itself or the falsified world of the artist?
Of course, the fault does not lie solely with the artists. The ever increasingly speed of development in modern civilization has seduced many of us into a false sense of seeing and encouraged us to forget that the world we can see. The fact that pastoral and other natural scenes no longer inhabit our minds is obvious to us all.

Despite this, artists must continue "seeing."
What do they see? Will theycontinue seeing?
And we too must gaze at the actions of those who continue to believe that there is a world that can and should be seen.

Sasaki Naomi's paintings are nearly all a single color. When, in viewing her vast canvases, there is some slight change that creates an illusion, an analogy can be made with the sublime world that is manifested in the work of abstract expressionists like Mark Rothko.
Yet, the classification that is arrived at through this sublime concept is none other than a system of "seeing." Sasaki's pictures aspire to refute preexisting concepts of "seeing."

In Maeda Tomoko's most representative works, there is a symbolic flower-patterned veil that hangs over a naturalistic landscape. To return to my earlier point, naturalistic landscapes are scenes that are repeated in our memory or in pictures and appear to us through manifold filters.
The sweet dizziness created by the symbolic flower-pattern stealthily conveys this message. Maeda's pictures reflect the falsified nature of the things we "see" in a refreshing way.

To those of us who have forgotten how to "see," the degree to which theworld fashioned by these two artists strikes us as revelatory reflects our own recognition of the world around us.

Yasuyuki NAKAI
Curator: National Museum of Art, Osaka
translation : Christopher Stephens

CASO space C : 2001.04.21-2001.05.13