MASAKI YADA

 

Layers

Recently, the word ‘layers’ has been the centre of my art practice. There are many layers composed in my painting, both ones that are physically made and those which are images from the wider visual field.


The word ‘layers’ can be interpreted in many ways. In modern society, people use different personas in communication, depending on whom they are speaking to, and this can be referred to as ‘layers’. As well as this, there are hierarchy and class systems, which are the production of this overly organized society. Moreover, we are all categorized in a certain order, by race, finance, occupation, sex, living area, marital status, etc for society to be more organized. I appropriate these structural elements in my visual vocabulary. The inspiration of the theme arose from the fact that I’ve lived in cities all my life, where numerous events occur simultaneously. Being surrounded by an environment which has unique characteristics, its versatility has exerted an enormous influence on me. Also, I am always interested in social issues, events and what is occurring in the world. In dealing with the social and political climate, I use images on newspapers and magazines. Jean Baudrillard says in Simulacra, “this modern society is saturated with the representation of reality and it has become reality. Everything occurs in the society is simulation: Hyper reality.” Being inspired by that, I started using the second-hand information provided from mass media. Although they might not represent the truth, they undeniably construct our society according to Baudrillard. Therefore, by using the images coming through the uncertain source such as mass media I make paintings which are the reflection of our society, for the purpose to convey the uncertainty that society has. Furthermore, I aim to create something accessible, common and that we can share its theme.


On the other hand, it is natural to have a desire to create something looks pleasing as a painter. In fact, the latter half of my practice dedicates to the exploration of visual sensation and the act of creating visually compelling work. To achieve it, I combine the traditional idea of painting and that of freeing from it, which is influenced by the avant-garde. It manifests on the use of various visual and spontaneous effects such as brush marks, stains, scratches and so on, and the collage-like composition. When the spontaneity and the time-consuming visual description meet, the layers create a certain type of space that is akin to this uncertain modern society. Also, as a city being versatile, my painting can look quite different depending on the viewers. It is a result of manipulating the speed of painting or the act of painting. The trace of actions, such as expressionists’ like brush marks, stain marks and dripped paints create fast and dynamic movements while the detail painting evokes slow, heavy and intense feelings. As they are put together in the same contained area such as the frame of a canvas, the contrast between different elements renders an explosion like impact, appropriating the growth of energy in Tokyo and London. I enjoy this process of manipulation and I ultimately direct it to a point where it gains harmony.

Therefore, my greatest attempt is exploring the possibility to mediate those different elements. Furthermore, if the conceptual aspect of it is a brain in a human body, the visual of my painting is a bone marrow. The great emphasis is put neither upon the fact that my concern is in what concerns society, nor mere pursuit of visual sensation, but on the process of transforming the issues into a transcendent visual sensation and seeking an aesthetic moment in the complexity of the layers.

 

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