Naritaka Satoh Solo Show: RAW
Text by CHANG Hui-Hui
Hiro Hiro Art Space is pleased to present “RAW,” the solo show by Japanese artist Naritaka Satoh.
“Our body and mind are not two and not one. If you think your body and mind are two, that is wrong; if you think that they are one, that is also wrong. Our body and mind are both two and one.” Following this same mind-body interpretation given by Shunryu Suzuki in his book, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, Naritaka Satoh (b. 1980) uses pencil and acrylics to depict the “truthfulness” jointly construed by the body/mind’s internal/external spaces that are “both two and one,” offering a perspective into the multifaceted body/mind of the modern-day people through RAW.
Naritaka Satoh, who has a master’s degree from Tokyo University of the Arts, has a unique perspective and peculiar obsession towards the idea of “truthfulness.” He admits that, as a child, he hardly spent time on comic books, fiction novels, or cartoons; as for the fictional world, he was “never engaged nor interested in, instead strived more frantically in expressing ‘truthfulness.” With this in mind, he began to develop “dualistic painting” in 2017.
Satoh’s “duality” is beauty with chaos and peril in disguise – just as how the nature of things often wavers and breaks through between two parallel lines, paradoxically and speciously. Satoh said, “We often hide our bad from others and only show our good side so that other people will judge us based on the ‘goodness’ that we put on display. However, if we only see through this singular interpretation, then we only see the façade and fiction of imagination and won’t be able to apprehend the truthfulness of things. It would be like living in a fantasy world.”
The artist’s endeavor is to reveal crevices of consciousness in the reality. He applies highly detailed pencil strokes to carefully depict the men and women’s statuesque beauty but covers their eyes under thick lumps of acrylic paint that resemble turbulent whirlpool, alluding to our colorful, chaotic mind and emotions – it is beyond just concrete/abstract, it also concerns the external/internal, order/chaos, body/mind… Satoh uses the mind’s eye to unify his figure’s dualistic spaces.
In Satoh’s words, “duality” denotes the multi-faceted “rawness” in surface appearances and inner emotions – in their natural, undisguised, and unprocessed states. Whether in his portrait of individual figures or Grace and Black Bird, his new artworks from this year and first ever to be inspired by movie scenarios, he makes further attempt in depicting more complex groups of people. The figures in these paintings all have meticulously crafted countenances and splendid outfits; people polish and embellish their bodily representation to disguise themselves and create a fictional self-image; however, the artist will use pencils to objectively capture the unpolished external “rawness.” Meanwhile, the multicolored paints unveil the complicated mind and emotions hidden beneath the beautiful façade. It may seem perceptual and fictional, but it is the human nature. This “rawness” is a mixture of fear, worry, pleasure, desire, and love.
In this solo exhibition, Naritaka Satoh’s dualistic RAW brings us a portrayal of unrefined and chaos-hiding modern-day men and women through his “realistic paintings.” He says, “There is an external and internal to everything, and everything is a mixture of both. For me, reality and single-sided beauty are all tense states. Only when we recognize the unavoidable ‘duality’ of life will we ever achieve balance.”
1980 Born in Aichi
2006 Tokyo Art University, B.A.Design Arts
2008 Tokyo Art University, M.A.Design Arts
Naritaka Satoh, born in 1980 in Japan, has a Bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in Design Arts from Tokyo University of the Arts. Naritaka Satoh is skilled in using pencils and acrylic, developing a unique practice on his “dualistic painting”. He won the Grand Prix prize from the 8th SICF.