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Masanobu ISHII”literature”
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Published: March 02 2017

Masanobu ISHII"The Three-Cornred World by Soseki Natsume"2017©the artist courtesy ai kowada gallery

AI KOWADA GALLERY is pleased to present, a first solo show of Masanobu ISHII(b.1985) .

The artist’s thoughts on his work for the show.

Since infancy, I did not have good relationships with letters.
They seemed so distant to me. I disliked them and evaded them.
I did not even read picture books or play RPG games.
My parents told me that I had LD and I agreed with them too.
So I lived, being foggy about letters and escaping from them.

Then, one time, I was commissioned by Mainichi Shimbun to draw illustrations for Keiichiro Hirano’s serialized novel for the newspaper. I was glad to accept the job, feeling that it was a chance not to be missed. However, the problem was that by taking this project I had to face with the realm of literature, which I had avoided my whole life. So, I commenced with the work being fully aware of my deficiency for the project. I was so scared that Hirano or the readers would become angry with me, but fortunately the response for my illustrations did not turn out so bad.Through this project for the newspaper, I experienced the joy of being in touch with a literary work.

It was at the exhibition for these illustrations that I met Mr. Yamauchi, an art writer, who introduced me to AI KOWADA GALLERY who organized the present show. Although I didn’t have any specific piece of literature on my mind, I immediately decided that I was going to draw pictures that visualize the world of some literary works. I was not aiming to cultivate my knowledge of literature or to go through in depth studies of it. I simply intended to stop and be in touch with the thing that I had avoided for a long time, and my strategy was to continue with my way of dealing with literature, which I had developed while making illustrations for Hirano’s story.

To launch on my new enterprise, I started by selecting stories that were manageable for a novice like me with the help of Mr. Yamauchi and other of my book loving friends.

I considered the readers when I drew for Hirano’s story.However, this time, I simply drew my impressions that I had in reading the stories that I had selected. Humans use words to organize their ideas but I do not possess a high literacy such as to organize my thoughts about the books. This is directly reflected in my work, creating a sort of chaos, which I somewhat enjoy.

Drawing for me is an act of escape from my inferiority complex while it is at the same time a measure by which I confront with it.

The works in this show are the visualization of the literary world of some the masterpieces of Japanese literature, and the attempt was done not because I am keen on books but because I felt so estranged from it.

My interpretations of the texts may have been naïve but the correctness and the level of sophistication of my reading comprehension was not important for me. In our world, things are often changed of their original meaning given to them by their producers; the products in art and literature are no exceptions. My focus was to create art works that are as autonomous as the texts I had chosen through visualizing the impressions I received from reading them. So, my works may well have meaning and value different from the ones in the texts.

But then, what do we mean by value after all?
Masanobu ISHII, 2017.

The list of literary works the artist has chosen as the theme of his pictures.
‘The Female Student’ by Osamu Dazai
‘The Diary of a Mayfly’ by Tatsuo Hori
‘The Three-Corned World’ by Soseki Natsume
‘On Corruption’ by Ango Sakaguchi
‘The Lemon’ by Motojiro Kajii
‘The Tatoo’ by Junichiro Tanizaki
‘The Moon over the Mountain’ by Atsushi Nakajima
‘The Surgery Room’ by Kyoka Izumi
‘In the Woods’ by Ryunosuke Akutagawa

Masanobu ISHII:
Born 1985 in Numazu, Shizuoka.Graduated from Communication Design Course in the department of design, school of Art.
Selected Works:
The poster design for an exhibition on the popular manga series: Attack on Titan.,The visual design for ‘The Real Evacuation Game.’,The illustrations for ‘At the End of the Matinee,’ a serialized novel by Keiichiro Hirano on Mainichi Shimbun. The book design for ‘At the End of the Matinee.’


Information Provided by: AI KOWADA GALLERY

Period: March 18,2017 (Sat) 〜 March 26,2017 (Sun)
Hours: 14:00-18:00
Closed: Open every day in the exhibition period.

Last Updated on March 18 2017

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