John Cage, 4“33
Noriyasu Soda, new works
and special silence from Noriyuki Haraguchi
09.06.2017 – 31.07.2017
The first exhibition at ANMO is called Reflecting Noise and brings together three contemporary art positions.
These are John Cage’s 4’33” Silence that premiered in 1952, seven recent works by Noriyasu Soda (2017) and a paperwork by Noriyuku Haraguchi (2004).
The show is part of a pre-opening, taking place after intense renovation measures, and is informed by careful long-term reflections and discussions that aimed at assembling artistic positions that best represent the ANMO Art Gallery‘s gist. The pre- in the opening suggests the beginning of a process, an opening process that matches with the three artistic positions.
Noisy Silence – On John Cage‘s 4’33” Silence (Premiered in 1952)
John Cage, from the video about silence: “Sound of traffic, I don´t hear anybody talking. Sound is acting – activity of sound, it does all of things…I don´t need sound to talk to me…most of the art is being in time and space…sound that means anything…I love sounds as they are I don´t want them to talk to me. Sound experience I prefer before all other sounds is traffic, cause it´s always different.”
The noise in the reflection of a shiny surface causes endless images, coming and going, refiguring perpetually. Every mirroring opens up the possibility of a concrete present, just as much as an absolute illusion. The concrete and the possible are constantly forming fragments of a contemporary and qualify as a base for the imagination. Delusion however, is always possible, due to the images constant shapeshifting while the viewers look at it.
Lacquer, Leaf Gold and Crashed Shells – On Noriyasu Soda‘s Work
Soda‘s works resemble vital bodies, their surfaces are skin-like, reflecting the viewer as the One in a very spontaneous, limited portrait. The artist‘s examination of historical portrait formats, lead to an exceptional combination of historical japanese laquer techniques and present-day contemporary artistic positions. For the works you see at ANMO, Soda used a traditional Japanese lacquer technique. The base for the lacquer contains, among other components, fluid from 35 Japanese lacquer trees. The working process requires absolute concentration, careful crafting and lots of time. Layer after layer, the lacquer needs to dry out in a warm, humid climate.
Three of the lacquer paintings are plainly black, on three of them, Soda used leaf gold and crashed mother perl shells on the remaining one. The results are stunning. But beneath the image‘s surfaces processes of transformation are constantly at work. Since leaf gold oxidates over time, the pieces will not stay the same but darken gradually. So, one crucial element of Soda‘s works is that the pieces never arrive at a definite, ‘completed‘ state because of their material properties. The actual image you see, is in constant recreation, it mirrors and creates the figurative within the abstract.
Blank Viewing – On Noriyuki Haraguchi‘s Works
In an Interview Noriyuki Haraguchi states: “I´m not a big fan of traditional things. I don´t like what people ordinarily think of as beautiful. Actually I think what is considered nothing, has beauty.”
As a condition for sensing beauty, Haraguchi investigates viewing, a special kind of viewing though. “Not curious viewing, but blank viewing. I like empty looking. Beauty is simply doing nothing but looking…It is not just something visual, it includes performance and it is composed of bodily actions.”
Noriyuki Haraguchi received international recognition for his Oil Pool, a large scale metal container filled with waste oil, that was first shown outside Japan at the Documenta 6 in 1977. Haraguchi has always had an affinity for industrial materials. In Oil Pool, the reflecting surface has the optical effect of leaving the observers uncertain whether they see a solid or a liquid surface. The surface‘s effect in Oil Pool, leading to uncertainty and change in reflection, corresponds to Soda‘s laquer works at ANMO. Another correspondence is that, in their works, both artist refer to the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto.
In Reflecting Noise ANMO shows a paperwork by Noriyuki Haraguchi, a drawing on technical paper, on top of which, right in the middle, you see a strip of handmade paper. Since the haptics of handmade paper are totally different to that of industrial paper, they break the technical effect of the layer beneath. By these means, Haraguchi foregrounds the corporeality of the drawing.
Drawing Connections – Cage, Soda, Haraguchi
Thorough reflection put forward the idea that Cage’s, Soda’s and Haraguchi‘s positions work as procedural agencies. An open-endedness of reflection unfolds, notwithstanding the works‘ presence as “complete“ peaces at the ANMO Art and Tea Space. Analogous to ANMO’s state as a project under way, the works constantly actualize within themselves and in relation to each other. Both, the location and the works are vital spaces and bodies being, as well as to come.
For a complete list of the titles, materials and dates of compositions, please ask for our Works List.