GALLERY KOGURE NEW YORK is pleased to announce solo exhibition of Tomohiro Takagi.
Humans are simply a part of nature. We who live in contemporary society in which this basic fact is not recognized are instinctively weak before the power of nature. Takagi keenly depicts the reality of human beings divided by nature through animals, which are superior to humans.
In Takagi’s pictures, humans are dominated by animals and are depicted as being extremely wild. Humans are depicted as being prey in nature, with parts of the body that are parasitic to animals or are fused together with animals; it is reminiscent of spirits in primitive religion.
In 1994, when he came into contact with people who were living as a part of nature in Papua New Guinea, Takagi noticed the terminal sense of distance between nature and human society. Based on his experience in deeply feeling how modern societies are unconnected with nature, he indicated that nature is “the same,” including human activities. Subsequently, through his brushwork that full of vitality and wildness, he has instinctively depicted people who live hard in the mysterious light and dark with the theme of the relationship between nature and humans.
Coming into contact with various creatures in abundant nature from my childhood, I grew up while sometimes sketching and making my own illustrative books, which has become the core of my later artistic endeavors.
In my twenties, I had the opportunity to travel the remote areas of Papua New Guinea, where I met people who lived in a near-primitive state. Humans lived off the blessings of nature as other animals did,and I saw that humans sometimes fell prey to crocodiles. Some tribes have a fear of crocodiles, worship the crocodiles, and alter their own skin to make it like that of a crocodile.
For me, as a person who is living in a modern society where humans and nature have long become antonyms, experiencing a world where the boundary between humans and other living things is ambiguous has provided a great stimulus, and I seek to be able to express such a borderless world through painting.
I went to Paris during my early twenties and independently studied classical paintings and religious paintings. I returned from Paris and moved to Kyoto, where I am still involved in my artistic activities.
There are many temples, shrines, and churches in Kyoto, and many gods coexist in the same region. In contrast with Western religions, in which there is a single absolute God, since ancient times in Japan, the belief in a myriad of diverse gods in nature has produced a spirit of magnanimity and diversity. I believe that diversity is also important in art.
The root of diversity is something primitive that people in various countries sympathize with, and I would like to express that through my paintings.
Artist Official Page