Art Criticism – Keichiro Tao

between-dream-and-reality

Introduction to the “Between Dream & Reality”Exhibition

By Keiichiro Tao

Bijutsu-Techo Editor, Tokyo, Japan

Hearing that Kris was holding an exhibition in Shanghai this May I decided to head over there. I saw him surrounded by people of all nationalities, chatting and pulling down laughter with an art explanation mic performance ending the night by Dj-ing himself. I asked Kris whether perhaps he, who was born in Sweden, lives in Tokyo and does art in China whether perhaps the way of looking at his paintings might vary depending on the country the person is from so I asked him if it is so. When I hear his answer; “To me it is not about where they are from but rather to treasure the meeting and communicate with respect” I felt myself strangely accepting the truth in that.

Kris’s works freely moves between the concrete and the abstract leaving interpretation to the viewer. Using light color strokes and pop icons like hearts it often creates a feeling of happiness while sometimes lancing the boils of humanity to release the poison within.

“From where comes this laissez faire attitude” I found myself thinking while watching his works.  Perhaps this is why to him, the Japanese modern art scene seems difficult to grasp, full of rules and a culture, which awards “association” rather than originality. This interpretation of the scene seems natural when you considered he grew up in an area where borders are diffuse and now lives on an island where land is limited and which has a very distinct Eastern Culture.

There is a concept in Japanese art known as “Karumi軽”in Japanese art. It was minted by the legendary Haiku poet Matsuo Basho (松尾芭蕉) as a truth that he arrived at in his thoughts. It means to not to be intrusive but simple and part of everyday life. To simply add a touch of beauty to stir the heart is the meaning of this truth of beauty. When I look at the balance that Kris walks between the cultures of East and West, Love and Death, Beauty & Filth, I feel this truth of “Karumi”  that Basho found only in his later years.

It seems to me that not only is it no coincidence that his art finds a following in China but that it transcends the ideas of impression and the meaning of the word artist and suggest that perhaps this is just what is needed right now.

I had just finished writing these sentences after going through the list of work that he has submitted for the exhibition when I checked my phone and saw a chat from Kris. It was two new AR pieces that he had just produced. I read it and was immediately struck by the thought that, this ambivalent balancing act he keeps doing between strong adversity towards technology and his ability to use it is a large part of who he is. I see him smiling at me with that mischievous glint and I knew that this exhibition would be a great success.

今年五月,我在得知Kris在上海有场展览后,决定前往参观。只看见他由来自世界各地的观众包围,幽默逗乐式地与大家分享着他的艺术故事。整场活动以他的麦克风表演为始,以他为在场观众DJ打碟结束。面对如此文化多元的群体,我非常好奇,于是我问他,作为一个生于瑞典,在东京生活,又在中国从事艺术的他,是否会觉得欣赏艺术的方式会根据观者的不同文化或国籍而有所不同。而他的答案则是:“我觉得重要的不是来自哪里,而是对每一次相聚的珍惜,并愿意带着对彼此的尊重去交流。”我出乎意料地非常赞同这个说法。

Kris的创作风格时常自由地在写实与抽象之间穿梭,给观者留下无限解读空间。通过对明亮色彩与如同爱心等的流行图案的运用,他的作品给人们带来快乐感的同时,也反映了对当代人性与社会的针砭时弊。

他作品中的这种“自由主义”让我不禁思考。也许这是为什么对于他来说,日本现代的艺术场景仿佛难以拿捏,一种充满了规则与崇尚“关联性”多于原创性的文化。而他所创作出的艺术场景则更为自然,因为他出身于一个幅员辽阔,边界多样的国度,而现在却生活在一个土地狭小,而富于独特东方文化的岛屿。

日本には、“軽み(karumi)”と呼ばれる美意識がある。日本における俳句の第一人者・松尾芭蕉 が到達した理念で、日常的な題材のなかに美を見出し、(仰々しくなく)さらりと表現する心得 を指す。西と東、愛と死、美と俗。その両者を知りながら絶妙なバランス感覚を魅せるクリスの作 品は、芭蕉が後年に行き着いた“軽み”に通じるものがある。

在日本艺术中,有一种理念是“平易”(Karumi軽)。这个词是由日本伟大俳句诗人松尾芭蕉所创,凝练了其晚年的思想精华。其含义是,艺术创作不应矫揉造作,而应简单与平易,如同每天生活的一部分。简单地将美融入,去打动内心,是美的真正意义所在。而当我看到Kris在东西文化,爱与死亡,美与丑陋中寻求平衡时,我感觉这就是芭蕉在其晚年所悟出的“平易”的体现。

这是为什么,我认为,他的艺术能在中国有如此的受众并不是巧合;更甚至,他的作品已经超越了印象派的概念,或者“艺术家”这个词,而成为了我们当下所需的一种表现形式。

在我写下这些时,我看完了Kris为此次展览提交的作品,并看见他给我传来的简讯。两个新的运用AR增强现实技术所做的艺术作品。仔细看后,我深刻感受到,他的作品所表现的科技对人性的冲击,与他将科技运用于艺术创作本身,即是一种平衡,也是他与他的艺术观的一种体现。我看见他冲我顽皮地一笑,我就知道,这场展览一定会收获巨大的成功。

田尾圭一郎

Tao, Keiichiro

编辑,日本美術手帖