The “MA” exhibition is based on the idea of complimentary contrasts:
- Western and Eastern cultures and values,
- elements — linear and shading, monochromatic and gold,
- techniques — hand drawn and digital,
- art history context — past and present,
- compositional elements — amor and horror vacui.
Fusing both these eastern and western philosophies was a strong basis and metaphor for the overall residency and exhibition. Hence, I chose to study the concept of “MA” — a japanese word that translates as “space” or “pause”. I employed this to influence my aesthetic and as a method of constructing contrast, weaving ‘visual intervals’ into the composition, which highlight other carefully selected components.
The direct inspiration for the artwork came from the video “Urban Butoh” performed by Butoh dance master Atsushi Takenouchi and directed by Jordi Arque. Choice of Butoh supported the on-going theme of dance prevalent in my work and complimented the study of “MA”. With its’ unique form of expression and powerful visual impact of its stylized gestures Butoh introduced fresh and fascinating themes to my practice.
Specifically for TASTE exhibition I have developed a mixed media technique incorporating digital print and real gold leaves with more traditional pencil drawing. I’ve always been inspired by the Renaissance concept of beauty realised in the elaborate depictions of human body. I juxtaposed these with a more contemporary, digital medium reflected in the preference for a humble line. The human body got therefore simplified to strokes and shadows. The introduction of gold was influenced by the desire to maintain a monochrome palette, however bring some texture into the work. Gold leaf reflecting lighting addd to the movement.
Side by side I placed the carefully structured drawing with the brushstrokes application of the gold leaves, contributing dynamic, uncontrollable, expressive elements to the artwork and representing abundance, strength, perfection and sophistication.
Furthermore, the colour reflects the masculine energy present in the artwork and Butoh. Gold amplifies the association to the employed in the artwork divine principles of the golden ratio and basic shapes — triangle, diagonals and circles. In European culture gold was primarily used in religious representations of medieval altars and icons. In opposition, in the Eastern standards of Butoh the dancers perform naked, stripped of all boundaries allowing full, pure, organic expression. Finally, the Han character for “MA” comprises of separate Chinese marks meaning “Door of the Sun”, again alluding to the use of gold leaf.I aimed to emphase this contrast through the use of expressive strokes covered in gold leaves against a monochromatic colour range.