This is the first solo exhibition at Seizan Gallery for Kenta Takahashi, an artist who recently received his master’s degree from the Graduate School of Fine Arts at Tokyo University of the Arts with a specialization in printmaking. The exhibition will mainly focus on a new series of works that the artist created as a final project before graduation. After majoring in Nihonga at the undergraduate level, Takahashi has developed his practice by utilizing traditional natural mineral pigments and testing their resonance with other diverse materials. Building on the relationship between analog and digital expressions, Takahashi creates and arranges the display of artworks with divergent elements (inside and outside). In doing so, he explores his own personal conception of the nature of painting and reassesses the present and future values associated with Nihonga.


This year, I purchased a poster. It is a silkscreen print of “computer nude,” created by Leon Harmon and Ken Knowlton in 1960, at the dawn of the computer age. This work is an accumulation of symbols, a low-resolution bitmap image that looks like it is drawn on a screen door, but it is the originator of all digital images to this day. As someone who is fed up with too much information day and night, I found the amount of information in this work comforting, as if it left room for the viewer’s imagination.

Windows are installed to gain sunlight. Screen doors, curtains, and blinds are used to hide the view from the outside. This may seem contradictory at first glance, but it is a balance between sunlight, openness, ventilation (benefit from the outside), light shielding, and privacy (defense from the outside). These are all designed to make the room (inside) more comfortable.
I believe that painting has developed its position as a “window to another world” in that it visually preserves fantasies or better yet, reality (including the movement of time and space). If we consider the projection of an image that should not be there, as if space has been cut out, to be a window to another world, then this role can also be applied to the various monitors used in the modern world. Raster images that have become highly sensitive have reached a level where they are indistinguishable from analog output, and without deifying the material, the raison d’etre of painting as a window can no longer be maintained (hence, painting has survived to the present day, with the addition of various ideas and media).
In addition, with the development of the Internet, monitors today can not only appreciate, but also take action in the world and transform the image. The window to another world has become a reactionary experience, shifting from the act of looking through a fixed window from one’s own room, where the view does not change much (inside to outside), to the act of looking through the window of another person’s house while moving at high speed through the city (outside to inside).

In the current exhibition, two types of works will be exhibited in a layout or next to each other.
One is a digital image composed as a window through a screen door looking in from the outside, with threads drawn like a grid on top of raster images printed on various materials. The industrial revolution brought about by the Meiji Restoration and the rise of Japanese painting, and the simulation of striped steel sheets created to symbolize the urban landscape of contemporary Japan. Each of these works is in charge of the inner and outer worlds, and by rearranging them in the exhibition space, the artist attempted to pursue his own conception of pictoriality.

More than half a century has passed since the birth of digital images, and we now live in an age in which images can be generated without human intervention. If the role of paintings as “windows to other worlds” has come to an end, then the nature of painting is still a matter of physicality, and it must be said that physicality is the nature of humanity. By using digital technology as a prime contractor, I hope that I myself, who planned this project, will be able to give birth to humanity by becoming a machine that relies on the human body.

07/06/2024(fri) -  19/06/2024(wed)

11:00 am - 7:00 pm
11:00 am - 5:00 pm on Saturdays, Sundays and the final day of the exhibition.

Artist in gallery:
JUNE 7, 2024

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