Yutaka Kikutake Gallery is pleased to present “Echo, UPO,” an exhibition of works by Seiichiro Osa from July 7th, 2018. This exhibition marks Osa’s first exhibition with the gallery and presents a selection of 6 latest works by the artist.
Everyone has realized before long that the light of the stars reaches our very own eyes from beyond hundreds and millions of light years of space-time.
Like the way a painter too, realizes at some point while engaged in the act of painting.
Perhaps the same can be said for paint.
It does not end at the edge of the canvas, and instead seemingly extends into the unfathomable expanse of blank space, going this way and that, eventually sensing itself arriving and shining at some place.
Whether or not we both tumble the way we want or experience the inadvertent slip of the hand, we continue to look on without the least care about the inconsistences, certainties, and mystery that resides within a single painting. The paint and I radiantly flicker to our heart’s extent. For me it is to see the light, and for painting perhaps, it is to be the very light itself.
This enigmatic paint that echoes in resonation!
And if I were to choose to work with this my entire lifetime, or at least momentarily in the midst of it, let me believe that it is something helplessly interesting. Let our presences be as so for one another.
Seiichiro Osa, May 2018
Since 2011, Osa has produced abstract paintings that depict lines, colors, and forms consisting of minimum elements in a regulated and repeated manner upon the canvas. These purified expressions comprise of horizontal and vertical lines that create a painterly space upon the picture plane, and feature fundamental motifs like circles, triangles and squares constructed from numerous curvatures and oblique lines. The reflective strokes that appear as if engaging in a dialogue with the canvas it confronts however, serve to suggest the very response of the artist. The loosely woven canvases that have been arbitrarily selected create an abrupt sense of resistance against the touches and strokes of the paint brush, thereby giving rise to a production process that concerns the artist’s body vs. the canvas, which Osa himself refers to as a “bout.” This production process reminiscent of action painting is that which emerges before the viewer as a scene that transcends the boundaries of the rectangular form.
A leading figure in abstract painting, Frank Stella, had considered painting to be a certain object in its own right, as opposed to a screen upon which to convey something. Rather than designating the support medium to define the painting, the painted forms and forms of the canvases correspond as equivalent to one another as a result of the use of “shaped canvases” that enable the painting to define the support medium. In doing so, the boundaries that had existed in between them have been infinitely blurred and made ambiguous. From the selection of new works in this exhibition, viewers can observe the artist’s attitude in purposefully transcending the contours and framework of painting within this world of rectangular forms, instead almost enjoying the circumstances by which he goes against these boundaries. For Osa, the canvas is “a monster whose critical point remains undiscovered,” and rather than as a base upon which to paint, is perhaps regarded as an unidentified “object” that he confronts as a means of expression.
The series of works that Osa has titled “UPO (Unidentified Painting Object),” harbor a mysterious and somewhat nostalgic light. What lies beyond the exchange between the artist and the paints which has the ability to transform the way the artist’s body is involved as well as the very nature of the medium itself, is a space that stimulates our vision and appears as if drifting despite it’s existence as a flat surface. The moment when fortuity, involuntariness, and the willingness to paint while repelling such notions confront and echo one another, an unexpected dialogue and reverberation is born between the artist and the painting.
Seiichiro Osa was born in Shizuoka in 1985. He graduated with a Masters in Oil Painting from the Department of Painting, Tokyo University of the Arts in 2011, and has ever since exhibited his painting works in numerous exhibitions both in Japan and overseas. His recent exhibitions include, “NEW VISION SAITAMA The Emerging Body” (The Museum of Modern Art, Saitama, 2016); “The Way of Painting” (Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery, 2015); “SLASH / square” (Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery, gallery 5, 2014); and “JAPANESE PAINTING NOW!” (Kunstverein Letschebach, 2014).