Issei Kurihara Blindsight


Opening reception :
5 Nov (Wed) | 18:00 - 20:00
Performance :
Ichifuji (Unit : Issei Kurihara x Chisato Tomokiyo)
5 Nov (Wed) 19:00 -
22 Nov (Sat) 16:00 -

Tokyo Gallery + BTAP is pleased to announce Kurihara Issei's solo exhibition, Blindsight. Five years since the artist's previous solo show, this exhibition will present 9 new works completed this year.

After graduating with an MA from Tama Art University, Kurihara participated in numerous solo and group shows, exhibiting paintings and installations. Also, in 2005 he and 7 artist collaborators opened the "Gallery Stump Kamakura" art space, in Kamakura; besides his painting he remains active across many diverse projects.

Kurihara Issei's paintings do not have a central point, rather, each image seems to be wandering about the surface. Is that a person, animal, or plant? Or, is it simply some kind of form? Unable to be judged in a simple glance, these are complex images which appear somehow light and pale though depicted in splendid colours; moreover, letters are sometimes scattered here and there over the canvas. It is perhaps pointless to attempt an understanding of these works based simply on their formal composition. The depicted images, colours and words, rather than being compositional elements fixed to the work's surface, appear as though they will float out beyond the frame. Tracing the images with one's eye, there is the sense of being beckoned, invited to look into another world, which the artist is aware of, that is not actually there on the canvas.

Kurihara has stated, concerning the production process of his work:
"I want to continue painting images without conforming to a particular model. This is because, looking beyond a sense of continuity, beyond this type of 'me' and 'you' existence, there is a sharp clarity."

For many artists, when they create an artwork, so that each action in the production process connects to the final image, painting becomes a process of controlling themselves. The work is completed as a result of accumulated control; the artist can thus feel they have completed the work, in turn leading to a sense of satisfaction. However, Kurihara says he wants to desist from this controlling of the self. "Painting images without conforming to a particular model" means abandoning the control of self, painting by heading to the next action, and then the next, ever onwards. Originally humanity was not able to completely control itself by its own means. Accordingly, one could say it is impossible to paint only by one's own force. It is for this reason, says Kurihara, who is keenly aware of this
fact, that he is adamant about not conforming to a particular model.

He says: "As for determining how one act connects to another in my painting, these are occurrences within my personal preferences, that is, if I stay only in the range of things I can control by myself, then the world depicted therein will be unrealistic, and overly self-absorbed. I don't want to position myself in that kind of superficial world. I'd like to see a world beyond that one. Such a world is beyond myself, a world that made sense long ago yet that we have since forgotten about; like the world we saw the first time we could ride a bicycle as children. Yet when asked how we did it, we were unable to explain that world-a world in which such sensations had sprung forth."

The unhampered impressions we receive from Kurihara Issei's work, reaching beyond the frame, are probably due to the fact that these works, evidenced by Kurihara's unique style, embody the artist's experience of the world. We welcome you to see these works yourself, coloured with vivid shades and floating images, a world as seen through works which successively refuse to 'conform to a particular model'. Furthermore, on the occasion of the exhibition opening-5 November, from 7pm-Kurihara Issei will be carrying out a performance with Tomokiyo Chisa, as a two person unit. For this reason also we warmly invite you to Blindsight, Kurihara Issei's solo exhibition.