The exhibition space Buchmann Lugano presents Saturday February 2nd starting from 5 pm the first solo show of drawings in Switzerland by the Japanese artist Tatsuo Miyajima (Tokyo, *1957).
The series of works on paper here presented were made between 1995 to 2018 and explore several issues essential to Tatsuo Miyajima‘s work.
In the Zen tradition Kũ stands for emptiness (Kũ is the transcription of the Sanskrit word sunya or sunyata, translated literally as “emptiness“). The artist describes how he produced these drawings in a state of Kũ, holding a pencil in his hand, his eyes closed: “The lines from my subconscious show my time spent in emptiness. The length of time given in the title, 15 minutes for example, describes the period of time which I spent in an altered state of mind, with my eyes closed”.
Every number in these drawings represents a moment in the counting cycle from 9 to 1. The empty space in the potentially in infinite sequence of numbers re- presents the figure zero, which does not appear in his work. In these drawings the artist is attempting to grasp moments in cycles of innumerable counts. The Innumerable Counts series visualize life for Tatsuo Miyajima. The spirals or lines in the drawings are thus excerpts from a broader context, from innumerable moments in time.
Tatsuo Miyajima provides a different interpretation of the zero, the empty space, in his Count Down Drawing Series: this series of works shows a repeated sequence, counting down from 9 to 1, as the title suggests. Here, too, the place of zero (Kũ) is represented by an empty space or filled with a thin gold foil or a microchip. In this variation the empty space is filled; it is, as the artist points out, the field provided with every possibility, the field of potential.
The Miyajima’s works on paper are an essential component of his practice, seen as equal in status to the installation pieces and sculptures. They complete the artist‘s complex œuvre, which is characterized by investigation into the significance of counting and time, and by subtle meditations exhibiting sublime precision and finesse.
Tatsuo Miyajima is one of the most important Japanese living artist, many of his works are in prestigious museum collections such the Tate Gallery London, the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlung München, the Caixa Barcelona, the Deste Foundation in Athens, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Leeum Seoul, Kunstmuseum Bern, Kunstmuseum St.Gallen and the M + in Hong Kong.