Painting is the challenge of creating an image out of other images
by changing the position of the parts within the painting. I will
explain the thoughts I have behind this methodology.
This series of Metamorphic Paintings questions a painting being
“a single image on a single screen”. The function
of a puzzle, such as the gimmick, or the kids' play, was not the
essence of the series. It is important to state, in the first
place, that in this series of Metamorphic Paintings, the flexibility
of the zig-saw puzzle form was the only importance to me.
When we look at the history of tableau, the portable altar piece
(which started with religious missionary work) is the origin of
today's style of paintings. The religious world view, seen in
the icons which transcend to the sublime, is succeeded to the
production processes of todayﾕs paintings. I find it awkward how
there is little attention paid to this similarity between them,
because I think art has become independent from religion over
a long period of time. I believe that my new methodology of art
production could be added to the contemporary art production.
I like to think about the independence of a painting. When I do,
I question the idea that many paintings represent, or at least
get their motivation from, the elements that exist outside of
the painting. Sometimes the motivation of the outbreak does not
exist inside of the paintings, but the paintings are merely used
as ﾒthe place for developmentﾓ for the elements that came from
outside of them. This is something I question. My premise for
my abstract paintings is that it does not depend on the images
outside of itself, or the story outside of the painting. In my
idea, a painting “is independent” and “already
has the elements in itself”. Only then it becomes my “abstract
Through the process of painting, I intentionally create what I
call the self-motivation device, that will evoke the power of
images and space strongly within the painting itself. I believe
the more the self-motivation device is innate, the more powerful
the painting becomes. For this series, I also needed to prepare
the self-motivation device. This is why I started to think of
this new production method: “setting up a parallel world
that simultaneously proceeds. In their interactions, a place of
expression is evoked”. That is the puzzle piece method.
In particular, when I attempt to establish multiple painting images
simultaneously, I have to go back and forth between multiple images.
This is because it is impossible to fix the world only by the
speculation on either image. The influence from one affects the
other, and new influences from the other come to the original
one. The circumstances of each image collide with each other.
The evoked images that emerge from this interactive influence
actually create a production process that exceeds my control.
I think this situation created a dynamism that goes far beyond
Recently, this is how I look at the world. When I placed this
principle into my paintings, the result is a Metamorphic Painting.
For me, the most exciting moment is when I face the emergence
of a newly created image. The paintings would be more dynamic,
when I could share this excitement with the audience. In order
to realize this, I had to change the situation of the paintings
as ﾒthe result of the act of expression.ﾓ I tried to challenge
the situation by choosing the puzzle system, because it is changeable
while maintaining the absolute condition of a flat surface. One
status of the image that looks stable, contains another image.
By changing the pieces, another image emerges. The audience could
experience the emergence of the newly created image. It will diminish
the time-lag between the experience of the artist and the audience.
The audience can share a live feeling of the emergence of the
newly created image. The limit of the paintings becomes a little
There has been another issue in the painting which was a problem
for me for a while. The problem is the edge of the paintings.
In my style of zig-saw puzzle, I was able to add the possibility
to the edge of the paintings, that they imply there could be different
combinations. The feeling of extension is something that the combinations
could give to the audience. This feeling actually brings the audience
to acquire a visual extension. A combination of the pieces enables
me to create a free format of paintings. Moreover, it gives me
the feeling of extension that the current format of the painting
can become something completely different. My series of Metamorphic
Paintings, along with the other artists who works with shaped
canvas, is an effective method to challenge the rather traditional
paintings that try to extend the view by using perspective drawings
within the so-called painting shapes.
Although there are many creative ways to place the puzzle pieces
together, I feel that I can only call them as my art work in certain
combinations. The transform function, with a great degree of freedom,
lets other people freely change the paintingﾕs format. It is not
my goal to acquire this physical freedom by choosing the transform
function. It enables the viewers to change the combination freely,
but the free combination of the puzzle is not part of what I consider
ﾒthe painting that I have created.ﾓ I am only responsible of the
combinations that I intend to be displayed.
Simply put, I think people can enjoy the Metamorphic Paintings
when they surprisingly find out the same painting contains different
images, and the actual painting holds different things in the
same things, as if a person transforms to a different person.
It means to become free from the limited way of thinking, that
one art work only contains one meaning or one subject.
( Translated by Machi Takahashi )
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