(14 April 2023, Hong Kong) Whitestone Gallery H Queen's is honoured to present a solo exhibition of Japanese artist Kazuyuki Futagawa in Whitestone's gallery space in Hong Kong. Futagawa was born in Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture in Japan. When he was in high school, he was determined to become a painter. After he graduated, he studied traditional Japanese painting at Kanazawa College of Art. He then went to Tokyo University of the Arts to do further research on Nihonga (Japanese painting) where he learned the essentials of painting natural landscapes, animals, and plants during which he encountered the art of various famous Japanese painting masters such as Kawai Gyokudō (1873–1957) and was inspired to explore the relationship between human beings and nature through his works.
Iwa-enogu (Mineral Pigment) is the key material Futagawa used in his work. Such paint has been employed in historical Japanese painting which is made from minerals that have been ground into powder form and are to be used with glue to adhere the pigment onto the painting surface. The paint becomes more vivid and dense as the layers build up, creating a sense of depth in the picture. The chroma of Futagawa's painting seems to be between realistic and dreamlike, like a piece of memory that has coalesced with the artist's inner being. Futagawa has spent years of practice acquiring the technique of using such material which requires high proficiency especially in delineating the details of a painting. Despite the efforts, mineral pigment presents a unique colouration and glows like a diamond which truly embodies the beauty of the scenery and the artist's love for nature.
In recent years, new elements have appeared in Futagawa's paintings. Silhouettes of human figures integrate into his landscape picture as if they are visitors to the natural scenery. They are surrounded by blossoms and greenery and got lost in the wildwood. It is the vastness of nature that reflects the frailty of human beings. Human beings should stay awed and humble towards nature. Futagawa published a series of works centred upon such motifs while he traveled to the prefectures within Japan to further research their history through historical site visits, and painted the scenery that captures his experience. His painting resembles a double exposure in film photography. It records this ever-changing scenery while depicting one's inner peace. Futagawa's works present a sense of surrealism that exceeds traditional Japanese paintings. He has constructed a new form of realistic painting. The artist wishes one could appreciate the magnificent landscapes in Japan and the beauty of mineral pigment.
Press release courtesy Whitestone Gallery.