Yumiko Chiba Associates viewing room shinjuku is delighted to present ENTRANCE⇔EXIT⇔LID⇔BOTTOM, a solo show by Hisashi Yamamoto from December 7, 2019.
Yumiko Chiba Associates is proud to present a solo exhibition by calligrapher Hisashi Yamamoto. Born in Hiroshima in 1969, Yamamoto has devoted himself to the world of calligraphy since the age of twenty, when he encountered the work of calligrapher Yuichi Inoue. Yamamoto was later involved in production of a catalogue raisonné of Inoue's work.
In the process of exploring new, modern approaches to calligraphy unfettered by time-honoured tradition, Yamamoto established a style that involves writing the name of a thing, on that thing. This can be seen in his rendering of simple characters, such as katakana, giving the name of the thing, within a simplified image reminiscent of a primitive pictograph, in what could be described as an unexpected joining of script as picture and calligraphy as script, as opposed to the double negative of a piece of calligraphy neither picture nor script; a grasping for coexistence, perhaps. At the same time, practice of this sort likely helped Yamamoto to establish his identity as an artist, as he traversed the two differing domains of contemporary art and contemporary calligraphy.
Maintaining a distance from the conventional apprenticeship system, and calligraphy organizations, Yamamoto produces works that are also driven by the questions of what constitutes presentness in calligraphy, and freedom. The exhibition is divided into two parts, consisting of a solo show by Yamamoto for the first half of the exhibition period, and for the second, a group show of work by several calligraphers, curation courtesy of Yamamoto.
Does this world have entrances and exits? Even if we assume our mother to be the entrance, when it comes to exists, nothing is definite. So often we believe something to be an exit, that is to say, a way out, only to have a lid closed upon us completely, preventing us going anywhere; for some reason we are given life and live like this, in a world where so much can and does go wrong.
Yet as we go about our lives this way, at certain moments it can suddenly strike us that right now, we are truly alive. For an athlete, this might be on achieving a good time. For a musician, on producing a perfect note. The smallest of things can bring us to this realization.
The calligrapher Yuichi Inoue, who served as my guide and inspiration, expressed this in the context of producing work as 'the bottom dropping out.' He has been a constant benchmark for me, and trying to write down what 'bottom' means to me, I find it seems to be this.
And I find it is a kind of spiral: wondering whether this is exit or lid, one finds it is the bottom, then assuming it is the bottom, only to find it is an entrance.
The exhibition will be closed from Friday, December 27, 2019 to Monday, January 13, 2020.
Press release courtesy Yumiko Chiba Associates.