Thursday, November 26, 2020

Review of Uncertain exhibit by Tasuo Miyajima @tatsuomiyajima @scai_bathhouse

The Uncertain exhibition at SCAI THE BATHHOUSE in the downtown area of Tokyo is a great leap forward into the brave new world by one of the world's greatest contemporary artist, Tasuo Miyajima.

The art gallery, owned by Masami Shiraishi, is a cultural icon itself, being a converted public bathhouse close to the Tokyo Geidai (Tokyo University of the Arts) and The University of Tokyo in the Yanaka area of downtown Tokyo.

The new exhibition shows Miyajima's hallmark digits, but this time as a collection of paintings, oil on canvas.  The effect of bringing the LED numbers back into the realm of old school paintings, with twists on the canvas shapes and installations, is simply stunning. The 7 canvases are arranged in such ways so as to represent a particular digit, with the unused canvas lying in a ceremonial manner on the floor. Miyajima suggests a relocation of the canvases, based on the fate of specially designed dice telling which digit to install. 

For Tatsuo Miyajima, a graduate from the department of oil paintings of the Tokyo Geidai, this is perhaps the first venture into the venerable method of oil painting in his long and productive career. The result is an inspirational and poignant statement on the relation between the abstract and concrete, the ephemeral and permanent, and between the certain and uncertain in this time of great vulnerability for the human race. 

There are series of works with LED digits on white cloth, a statement perhaps on the co-existence of our organic self and the increasingly ubiquitous digital technology.

Photo Myself in front of the SCAI THE BATHHOUSE art gallery in Yanaka, Tokyo.