| EN |

Shinsaku NAGAYAMA: portrait
Written by In the document   
Published: January 11 2010

"portrait 24" (2009); Oil on canvas, 910 × 727mm ,courtesy of the artist and GALLERY MoMo Ryogoku copy right(c) Shinsaku NAGAYAMA

Shinsaku Nagayama (b. 1974) was catapulted from obscurity as an unknown artist to public fame last year as a result of a painting at his solo exhibition held at the gallery “switch point” which drew attention to his unique descriptive techniques in expressing the portrait of a woman seen from the back. We usually encounter backs of silent people when sitting in the seats at the back of buses, people who do not even talk nor meet the gaze of the people sitting around them all the way to their destinations. While looking at these people’s backs, we might come across strange sensations, such as loneliness and relationships with people that break apart, and would then notice that these senses simply mirror our own inner perceptions of others there. The portrait of a back Nagayama draws are based on these experiences that we all encounter in everyday life. The Danish painter Vilhelm Hammershøi (1864-1916) drew paintings of the back of his wife. In contrast with this, the identity of the woman drawn by Nagayama is ambiguous with the help of the painting’s monotonous background. It could be a man instead of a woman. However, Nagayama intended to choose a woman because of his sense of beauty to reflect the theme. Moreover, this helps draw the viewer’s interest to the motif. The darkness of the background reflects the situation in this difficult age. It suggests a breakdown in communication by giving the motif anonymity. This anonymity is also noted by not drawing any concrete scenery or motif, and not showing the face. On the other hand, this also suggests the self-contradiction of contemporary people by having the woman wear a dress with a bright pattern as if to suggest that she still wants others to see it or be interested in her though she may reject communication with others. Recently, there is a tendency for people to have only perfunctory relations with their neighbors while at the same time increasing their interest in strangers on the Internet as this enables us to keep some sense of distance from others. While avoiding direct or physical communication with others, many people still want communication with other people on the Internet who never make any requests for self-disclosure. These works by Nagayama have been drawn to overlap with such a contemporary society. However, the work does not seem to reject communication with the viewer, and if anything, it seems to seek interpersonal relationships with geniality, generosity, and warmth. Ten of Nagayama’s works are on exhibition here in this show, including his latest works. Please take the time to visit this exhibition and consider them for yourself. * The text provided by GALLERY MoMo.

Last Updated on February 06 2010

Related Articles

| EN |