"Materials and Boundaries - Handiwirman Saputra + Chiba Masaya" is currently on view at the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo. This exhibition has been made possible by the Assistant Curator, Kumakura Haruko. The works of these two artists are showcased in MAM Collection 006 in the form of large scale multimedia works. Both Saputra and Masaya are contemporary artists that utilize a combination of painting and sculpture to realize their works. They work with imagery and materials that are evocative in a multiplicity of forms. While the compositions are predominately abstract, the physicality of the body working through the materials to realize the artwork forms is prominent.
Handiwirman Saputra “Menahan Letakan Di Bawah Sangkutan (Holding Base Below Hook)” (2011-2014). Courtesy of: Mori Art Museum
The two artists are shown side by side to emphasize the differences and similarities that exist between their respective bodies of work. Evident is a shared interest in forms that are representative of the human body. Present in the works are a large range in the application of materials. This leaves consideration and lines of conclusion subject to what is in the eye of the beholder. What are their relationships to the forms and the composition pieces? Why are the objects assembled in such a way? What is the dialogue between juxtaposing materials in the context of this work? This consideration of matter is also a concern of what it represents which is a referent of a specific object or place.
Handiwirman Saputra is an artist from Indonesia, who lives and works in Yogyakarta. He is the co-founder of the Jendela Art Group. The concerns in his work are centered around the idea that materiality and beauty are given the first and foremost importance. Additionally, the relationship that these materials have to the space that they exist in plays a critical role. It seems clear that additional concepts beyond the interrelationships of materiality and space are not central to the creation. It seems that the artist is interested in what feels necessary to the viewer, and what they apply onto the read of the work. Creating a work for the viewers to experience just as it is, like an experience of finding objects in nature, is a strong component of Saputra’s vision. There is intent not to answer questions, but to probe them out of the viewer. This is possible through years of working toward technical mastery in his work, and the sensitivity to create objects that are viscerally beautiful.
Installation view at Mori Art Museum (2017). Courtesy of: Instagram @gracesamboh
Utilization and composition of materials are central in Saputra’s practice, as evidenced in the work Tak Berakar Tak Berpucuk No. 12 (No Roots No Shoots Num. 12). Here Saputra explores a sensuous, blubos form through the employment of different materials, such as: galvanic plate, resin, acrylic cast, and polyurethane paint finish, among others. The result is an object that appears to be a series of bags, fixed to one another. While this is evocative of organs and could be interpreted as referential to the body, Saputra would challenge for a read on the material forms as is.
Additionally, his other work on view Menahan Letakan Di Bawah Sangkutan (Holding Base Below Hook) is made from acrylic cast, foam ink, coloring pigment, sarong cloth, among others stays true to his intention. The fusion of materials leaves the viewer to primarily consider the nature of relationships and interconnections.
Chiba Masaya “Powerful Young Boy” (2013). Courtesy of: ShugoArts, Tokyo & Mori Art Museum
Chiba Masaya lives and works in Kanagawa, Japan. Masaya’s art differs from Saputra’s, in that he utilizes fantastical scenes and scenarios in a space, like a movie set, and uses this as the immersive still life for his painting compositions. He takes inspiration from places that he travels too by transforming the details that were prominent to him into motifs in his works. As seen in Masaya’s Powerful Young Boy (2013) there is the appearance the two separate compositions are coming together to form a narrative.
Both paintings are loaded with imagery, ranging from phallic fruits, a disheveled grid, and a glimpse at the facade that holds the structure together as seen in the reveal of the plywood assemblages. But what is this narrative? Is the top, centrally positioned figure carrying an object to the lower composition, out from it, or neither? It can be conceived that much to Masaya’s delight, the viewer will search to make connections that may or may not be present.
Chiba Masaya “Family Story” (2017). Courtesy of: ShugoArts
The exhibition is on view from November 18, 2017 until April 1, 2018. The Mori Art Museum is located in the Roppongi precinct of Tokyo. For more information, including museum operating hours, direcitons, and special events, please visit: https://www.mori.art.museum/en/exhibitions/mamcollection006/
Any views or opinions in the post are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors.
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