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Yumiko Chiba Associates viewing room Shinjuku is pleased to present Tableau/Bibémus: with Cezanne a solo show of Naruki Oshima from Friday, January 19, 2018.
In haptic green series that Naruki Oshima has been working on energetically since 2011, the artist has created singular landscapes by joining several hundreds of photographic shots of a subject that were taken with different focal length into a grid on computer screen so as to recompose them as a single photograph. Within these works, Oshima mixed the two kinds of different distances. They are a short and a long one respectively from the eyes to the details of a tree and to the whole image of it. Amidst our visional swing between the short and long distances, the image of the tree ambiguously appears and questions the way of our usual spatial cognition, thereby generating an unknown visual experience. Hence, through the act of seeing, Oshima's works liberate us from the daily routine that keeps on repeating the fixed meanings to lead us to construct a new relationship with the surrounding world. This is an important element running through all of Oshima's works.
Oshima says that he always had the art of Paul Cezanne in his mind while he was working on the series. Paintings by Cezanne, which employed multiple perspectives to recapture objects with the fresh eyes, have had a large influence on Oshima.
This exhibition will present new works of the haptic green series that Oshima photographed in Aix-en-Provence in Southern France, the place where Cezanne produced his tableaux in his late years. The exhibits that include the work which paid homage to Cezanne by following the composition of his painting of the quarry are fruitful outcome of Oshima's project that interpreted the art of Cezanne in an original way and examined whether he can succeed the master's idea using the medium of photography.
In conjunction to the opening of the exhibition, the gallery is inviting a photographer Mr. Risaku Suzuki, who has also created photographic works on the subjects of St. Victoire Mountain and the Studio of Cezanne, for a talk with Oshima.
The artist's statement
Moving towards the photography of senses with Cezanne.
Photography generally reduces the world that it captures to a vision governed by a single perspective, so that it is turned into a sign. My work usually begins by resisting such a structure in photography by destructing a fixed perspective. For example, I create spatial confusion by dissecting a photographic image of the reflections on the glass façade of a building into layers, or join several hundreds of close-up shots into one so that various distances will be sensed to coexist in a single picture. My recent works depend on the latter method, which at once concentrates and defocuses our gaze by joining together countless photographic images that captured different sections of a subject with a sharp or blurry focus, so as to compose an unstable landscape. In the instance of such instability, the original context of the subject recedes to give way to a neutral world in which colour and tactility will be actively sensed.
Actually, all the while I have been exploring such state of the world through photography, I always had the work of Cezanne in my mind. I have always thought whether I cannot redevelop in photographs the skewed space in Cazanne's paintings which derives from having multiple viewpoints that cancel a single perspective. For this exhibition, I decided to purposely shed light on arts by Cezanne to express such concern of mine by photographing a quarry in Bibémus (Carrières de Bibémus) in Aix-en-Provence in the south of France that the master had often painted in his late years, as well as the area around it to produce my work. The place was formerly a quarry but it is said to have been already out of use by the time Cezanne painted it. The location is several tens of minutes from the city centre and we can view the famous St. Victoire Mountain from there. Cezanne's paintings of this place are impressive for its contrast of the linearly cut rocks and luxuriantly grown green trees that surrounds them. It produces a sense of discomfort akin to that found in the cut and paste work of collages, and further increases the impression of space distortion. Of all the paintings by Cezanne, the series of works that depicted the quarry interest me most because of the concentration and defocusing of the gaze involved and the collage effect of the landscape that is related with the multiple viewpoints employed.
Such understanding of the paintings by Cezanne could be my biased interpretation. However, as I believe that it is possible to expect great development out of misunderstandings and misinterpretations, in this exhibition, I will focus to explore how I may realize in my photographs the spatial distortion that derives from the way that I understand Cezanne had composed his picture. In other words, through a Cezannean way of realizing objects, I intend to reorganize the state of photography that generally unifies the vision of captured subjects to an extent that it transforms them into a sign. Under this circumstance, my objective will be to find a way to move towards 'the photographs of senses' from the photographs that are interpreted of their meanings.
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