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Takeshi KOMURA: Expressions of Concealment
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Published: September 25 2009

Takeshi Komura, ”Moneylender" (2008); oil on canvas, 91×72.7cm, courtesy of art project frantic copy right(c) Takeshi KOMURA

Human Face is usually perceived as a part of a body, which reveals person’s individuality. The face is thought as a “stamp” of one’s uniqueness or as a “window” into the inner world of a subject. It is a plane of a body that is supposed to reveal, disclose, unveil, bring on the surface emotions, thoughts and other activity of the soul. Simply speaking, The Face is something that shows… Well, faces in art sometimes act in different way. art project frantic presents “Expressions of Concealment. Portraits by Takeshi Komura” Exhibition. Komura’s painted portraits first of all impress with their sculptural characteristics. The Face (or let’s say the head) intrudes the surface of a canvas presenting itself as a “figurated weight”. It occupies the painting as immovable plastic volume, which is positioned in the center and is expanded to the border of an image. The features of the faces are engraved in the casted person: “groove”, “cavity”, “hollow” and “dimple” shape the character and representation of its experience. Definite Gravity and Geometrical Massification – these are the first impressions Komura’s faces affect us with: these personalities are given to us, imposed on us, handed to us with their “physical totality”, “solid presence” and “ firm ex-pression”. Nevertheless, with the further examination we start to suspect that these faces do not show us everything. There is a particular duplicity, uncertainty, split in each of these expressions. The “Moneylander” smiles to us… or…threaten us: is he landing money or came to knock out the debts? The “General’s Daughter” is young, gentle and beautiful, but is she in the same time filled with pride and refers to the position and power of her father? Paradoxically, the Figure with Gravity starts to generate The Uncertainty. Plane of a face impose the feeling that not all surfaces are revealed, not all sides of depicted character is unveiled: The Face insists on not showing everything. We start to understand that the given “physical totality” is pregnant with The Loss, the “solid presence” of the characters produce the sense of absence. The Expression turns into the Expression of Concealment: it is permanent manifestation of a secret, it is persistent occurrence of obscurity, it is lasting appearance of unseen. Should we say that these deliberately molded figures with “tricky” topology have nothing to do with real people appearance and are “artificial”? “No, it is exactly uncertainty and duplicity that is natural to human being and human expressions!” - insists the artist. Should we say that the people represented at these paintings, made without any concrete models, are imaginary? “Not exactly. It is like a casting for a movie. I create a personage, but there is certainly someone in the world who can fit to this image,” – explains Komura. The active paradox of Komura’s expressions, their contradictive strength has different formative triggering points. One of it is of literature nature. Japanese Manga is one of inspiration sources for Komura. It is in connection with Manga style of storytelling we can understand the iconic nature of his painting, its fixed character motive, clear outline, “molded” tactility and narrative titles. From another side, Komura is in debt to F. Dostoyevsky’ s literature, especially to “The Brothers Karamazov” (1880). And it is in this relation we can think of the hero’s undetermined affiliation to “evil and good”, questioning nature of confronting character and (using Komura’s phrase) “black passion” of the personages. Thus, Manga and Dostoyevsky come together to give certain shape to uncertainty. “Expressions of Concealment” are presented not only in portrait genre. Komura creates a series of painting depicting a house, which nevertheless has numerous connections with his portrait passion. First, The House is presented in sculptural manner as well. Central position, monumental stand, stressed tactility, volume and mass turn The House in The Object of special significance: it is not any more landscape painting. Both, the face/head and the house in Komura’s painting are given to our visual experience as a body with the definite physical emphasis. Second, the link between the portrait and the house is stressed on the level of the language. Japanese “uchi” means “house”, but can also signify the place of one’s affiliation (clan, company etc.) and in some case can be translated in English as “me”. Thus, “house” can stand for “me” and “me” can be represented by “house”. Third, The House is “heavily shown”, but its imaginary physical weight and volume is supported by “existential gravity”: there is definitely something (horrible?, inescapable?, nasty?) happening/happened/will happen inside. The Façade of the house (as well as the face of depicted person) neither show, nor hide: it thrusts out the retraction of visible material, it ex-press the hidden. Thus, The House becomes The Subject. The House acts as a Character. Both in Takeshi Komura’s faces and his houses, there is hell a lot of concealed things going on inside. This exhibition is curated by Rodion Trofimchenko. Takeshi Komura
1974 Born in Gifu Prefecture
1993 Graduated at Gifu Prefectural Kano High School, Art Course
1998 Graduated at Kanazawa Municipal Kanazawa College of Art Awards
1997 Taki Fuji Art Award Solo Exhibitions
1998 "SOUP" Gallery Asano, Kanazawa
2006 GEISAI #10. "GIRLDSWALKER Award", Tokyo
2008 GEISAI MUSEUM #2, Tokyo, GEISAI #11, Tokyo Big Sight, Tokyo * The text provided by art project frantic.

Last Updated on October 02 2009

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