Artist: Nobuya Hitsuda
Venue: KAYOKOYUKI, Tokyo
Exhibition Title: blame not on reasons
Date: March 8 – April 7, 2019
Full gallery of images, press release, and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of KAYOKOYUKI, Tokyo
Nobuya Hitsuda was born in Ota Ward, Tokyo, 1941. After completing the Master’s program at the Graduate School of Fine Arts, Tokyo University of the Arts, and then working for the art department of Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) for a short while, the artist taught for many years as a faculty member of Aichi Prefectural University of the Arts and Tokyo University of the Arts. He has been awarded numerous prizes including the Yasui Award (1985) and the Seiji Togo Memorial Museum Grand Prix Award (2011). His work is represented in the collections of the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, among others.
It was in the height of the students’ movement opposing Anpo (the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security Between the United States and Japan), when Hitsuda was an oil painting student at Tokyo University of the Arts. Despite having graduated as the top student, Hitsuda, after completing the Master’s program, suddenly quit painting, and started working at the TV station, where he put himself right in the middle of production processes of its programs. Around 1972, Hitsuda resumed his exhibition activities, gradually cutting out a new path with his unique body of work, aiming at creating paintings that depart “from my own eyes or body” (*1).
Banal sceneries of everyday, such as those characterized by a vacant lot, a water channel, fences, concrete walls, plants, and so on, have served as points of departure for his painterly investigation. Particularly, inclined or flat fields along the Tama River, around which the artist spent a lot of time in his childhood, have remained very important landscapes to date (*2). Over all, the origin of his paintings is what he gained from his accumulated experience of “looking” at things in transformation while walking through Tokyo’s urban environment as it developed, from the period in which much of the city’s ground was still made up of exposed soil to the point it began to be paved with concrete and a row of buildings were constructed over it one after another.
A composition without a fixed vanishing point but with a series of diagonal lines that segment the viewer’s gaze, between which breezes seem to be continually blowing through all across the canvas. The motif of each of such paintings Hitsuda creates is a landscape, but he approaches it not as a self-evident entity that is measurable, but as something that is perceivable only fragmentarily — something that “passes by” or is “passed by.” In order to depict its essence, he takes the form of bricolage, juxtaposing different places and temporalities. It is not just through his act of looking at his object but also through his own past experiences and ongoing everyday life that various perspectives of landscapes are recomposed on his painting, enabling a composition where the quality of spatiality itself has transformed.