26 Nov - 25 Dec 12-7 PM

From November 26 to December 25, 2022, Gallery COMMON is pleased to present 3 HEARTS 9 BRAINS BLUE BLOOD, a solo exhibition by Shohei Takasaki. The exhibition will feature a new series of fabric collage paintings and drawings that take inspiration from the world of clothing and couture, questioning our methods of self-expression and the values we place on art in contrast to fashion. This marks the artist’s second solo exhibition at Gallery COMMON since 2018.
Born in Saitama, Japan before relocating to Portland, USA and then Sydney, Australia, Takasaki’s practice has long been an inquiry into the illusion of binaries and an exploration into the gray area that lies between. In this exhibition, Takasaki uses fashion as a contrast to art, comparing the way that clothes hide the body with the way that paint hides the canvas.
However, in comparison to the long and slow process of painting, it only takes a few minutes and a small amount of effort to put on an outfit– to create a “clothing collage”. This intriguing contrast is what inspires Takasaki’s attraction to the “instant and meaningless” aspect of fashion. By using “clothing collages” to create his artworks this time, Takasaki is able to overcome the slowness and thoughtfulness of painting, ultimately allowing us to appreciate the freedom that the “instantaneous and meaningless” can give us.
Using techniques inspired by the 1920s Automatist art movement, which encouraged “automatic creation” without conscious thought or intention, Takasaki throws himself into the second-by-second act of creating, producing unexpected outcomes that liberate him from the limits of his own mental frameworks. By subverting the lofty aims of traditional painting, Takasaki makes the act of art-making as simple and straightforward as the act of wearing clothes. In this way, we are given a look into a more direct, pure, and honest form of expression that blends both art and fashion together.
A message from the artist
I’ve been interested in fashion for a long time. I like fashion. It’s flimsy and there’s no meaning or message in it, it passes by in an instant, and it’s a tool of pleasure that’s meant to help us enjoy the moment to moment. And because it’s a type of expression that doesn’t require words, it’s also universal.
But before that, the most important point to note about the format we call “fashion” is that it’s not a 100% pure creation. In other words, fashion, like furniture, has a function. If the fashion-specific function of “hiding the body” isn’t fulfilled, it doesn’t matter how much you try to use fashion to express yourself, it just can’t be called fashion. It has to be functional. But it’s exactly through this act of partially "hiding" (concealing) our bodies that we can temporarily hide our insecurities to a minimal degree, and even disguise ourselves (become what we want to be).
I often compare the nature of clothing with the art-making method we call collage. Collage can often save a lot of time, bring in unexpected fragments from a completely different dimension, and distance itself from the image of the completed work that was originally visualized only in the artist's mind. In the case of clothing and its function of "concealing the body", the body is made up of multiple sections between the top of the head to the toes, and so can be likened to a single canvas on which an overall fashion look made up of many clothing elements are collaged together (with no care for context).
According to the Japanese Wikipedia, one of the definitions of collage is “a method of artistic creation in which disparate materials of any nature and logic are combined to form an artwork, such as a mural.” Collage historically started off as “an ‘unexpected combination of things' with no subjective compositional intent," and it is also a weapon with which the artist, and no one else, can knock himself out.
I consider the word hide equal to the word collage. I am very much influenced by the technique (or attitude/lifestyle) of automatism, and I often wonder what the meaning of automatism is in today’s society in comparison to 1924, when Andre Breton first proposed this concept, but I think that the method of collage, which is more intuitive, speedier, and capable of continuously betraying itself, provides a clue for those of us who are aiming for the 2022 version of automatism. If automatism entails the denial of concept, message, originality, and context as a primary focus, or even to deny the trappings of material choice, social relationships, or money, then, as Breton and others highlighted through their experiments with automatic drawing and writing, the speed of a production of work is very important. Nowadays, we spend every second of every day surrounded by all kinds of physical objects and influenced by all kinds of things in the alternate virtual world so, and this may sound stupid, but I think that letting yourself finish a work without giving yourself time to think about unnecessary things can’t be wrong.
That being said, I, as an artist, by choosing the format of fashion, am making the idea that “the conceptual should be ignored” my concept, which creates a paradox, but the fact that the core characteristic of painting=art is that it is a blank (naked) canvas that must be hidden by paint, reminds us that concepts were not originally necessary to create art anyway.
Shohei Takasaki
November 2 2022
Born in 1979 in Saitama, Japan, Shohei Takasaki lived in both Japan and Portland before settling in Sydney, Australia where he now lives and works. The underlying and consistent theme across Takasaki's body of work is the idea of comparison. Using an array of mediums ranging from oil pastels, charcoal, and paint to found objects and fabric, Takasaki often depicts a certain subject or motif in multiple styles to draw attention to the “in-betweenness'' that arises from these juxtapositions. Through works that question the boundaries between self/other, domestic/foreign, inside/outside the body, native/foreign language, physical/online, real/virtual, past/future, and life/death, Takasaki inspires us to reexamine our assumptions and further our dialogue with others for a more nuanced, “in-between” understanding of the world. Takasaki's work has been exhibited across Los Angeles, Portland, Kuwait, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Taipei, and Tokyo, and is also in the public collections of the Starbucks headquarters in Seattle and The Hoxton Hotel in Portland.

2022年11月26日から12月25日まで、Gallery COMMONではShohei Takasakiの個展「3 HEARTS 9 BRAINS BLUE BLOOD」を開催いたします。本展では、衣服やクチュールの世界から着想を得て、布をコラージュにして用いたペインティングやドローイングの新作を発表し、自己表現の方法やアートとファッションを対照的に捉えているその価値観に問いを投げかけます。Gallery COMMONでは2018年以来、二度目の個展となります。
僕はこの「隠す」という言葉と「コラージュ」という言葉をイコールと捉えます。そして僕はオートマティズムという手法(または態度/生き方)にとても影響されていますが、Andre Bretonがこのコンセプトを提唱した1924年の社会の状況と比べ、現代におけるオートマティズムってのは一体なんなのかっていうのをよく考えますが、より直感的に、よりスピーディーに、そして自分を裏切り続けることが可能な「コラージュ」は、今2022年ヴァージョンのオートマティズムを目指す僕らにとっての一つの手がかりのように思えます。そもそも、コンセプト、メッセージ、オリジナリティやコンテキストが先立ったり、もっと言えばマテリアルのチョイスや人間関係、もしくは金銭に囚われたりすることを否定していくのがオートマティズムなのだとしたら、Bretonらが自動記述によって実験していたように、作品制作の上での「スピード」はとても大事なポイントだと考えます。今、僕らは毎日毎秒、様々なフィジカルな物事に囲まれている上に、オンラインというヴァーチャルな別世界での様々な物事までにも影響されながら生活していますが、そんな中での作品の制作に「スピード」が必要なのは必然で、馬鹿なように聞こえるかもしれませんが、余計なことを考える時間を与えないままに制作を終えてしまうっていう方法は間違いでは無いでしょう。
Shohei Takasaki
November 2 2022
1979年、埼玉県生まれ。日本で育った後、アメリカのポートランドに移り住み、現在はオーストラリアのシドニーを拠点に活動しています。Takasakiの作品の根底には、「比較」するという一貫したテーマがあります。オイルパステル、木炭、絵の具、既製品、布など、様々な素材を用いて、いくつもの手法を使い、ひとつの主題やモチーフを描き出します。そして、こうした並置から生じる「中間性(in-betweenness)」に目を向けています。「自己と他者」「国内と国外」「体内と体外」「自国語と外国語」「フィジカルとオンライン」「現実と仮想」「過去と未来」「生と死」などの境界を問う作品を通じて、私たちの思い込みを捉え直し、より微細な差異をもった「中間」として世界を理解するために、他者との対話を深めるよう促します。Takasaki はこれまでにポートランド、ロサンゼルス、クウェート、メルボルン、香港、東京など、様々な都市で作品を発表。また、シアトルにあるスターバックス本部やポートランドのホクストン・ホテルなどのパブリック・コレクションにも収蔵されています。