Hikaru Myoen “Painted Penguins”

Nanatasu Gallery

poster for Hikaru Myoen “Painted Penguins”
[Image: Hikaru Myoen, "Penguins" (2017) Acrylic on canvas 72.7×116.7cm]

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Artist Hikaru Myoen can seen to have the approach of a fickle child at times, for he has a fierce ability to concentrate all of his energies on a specific motif when it takes his fancy, but before long his attention tends to jump to something completely new. What makes him different from an actual child, however, is that when he puts his mind to something, he has the technical skills and physical ability to realize it. It seems that for Myoen, it is the difficulty of the challenge that is key, for when something is no longer hard it is no longer interesting. Last year he began painting in an abstract style, having spent two solid years prior to that depicting rubber ducks. As of this spring, it appears that penguins have already become his new focus. You may think that Myoen has simply switched from floating ducks to another species of flightless bird, while in reality a big shift has occurred, expressing itself in the form of a highly tangible soft yellow glow that appears around the heads of these animals. Myoen achieves the effect by first spray painting on the blank canvas. The form of the penguins then emerges through the subsequent layering of pre-determined black shapes, the order of this painting process creating the impression that the animals are backlit. Spray paint is a new medium for Myoen, who embraces the risk of the paint spattering in unexpected areas due to clogging or the like. This method whereby you cannot completely control the shape or position of the paint creates a tenser atmosphere during production and requires far more tolerance of chance than when painting with a brush only. When artists are able to make good use of such mental states, the potential of their artistic expression can greatly expand. According to Greek mythology, gods who fell to earth would be surrounded by a nimbus, that is, a shining cloud. Later, the word “nimbus” took on the meaning of “aura,” or an “endearing atmosphere.” The ducks the artist previously depicted as his subjects were anonymous industrial products created for human beings, but in his new works each of the penguins has its own personality, and it seems that at times Myoen is forced to sympathize with these traits. It can be said that it is here that his interest shifts from an artificially controlled situation to a more realistic world. If you think in terms of the birds’ habitats, it would be like the difference between a bathroom or pool and a harsh ocean. Not to worry though, his penguins have a nimbus.
Maiko Yamauchi

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Schedule

from September 30, 2017 to October 08, 2017
Closing at 22:00 on Sep. 30 (due to Roppongi Art Night)

Opening Reception on 2017-09-29 from 18:00

Artist(s)

Hikaru Myoen

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