June 10, 2012
August 04, 2012
Spalding House Café
On view through Aug. 4 are woodblock prints on paper by Satoshi Takahira and Chiho Ushio.
Takahira employs an unusual method of woodblock printing. Rather than using chisels to carve the surface of the block, he prints the flat surface of one woodblock multiple times, using different colors, on a single sheet of paper. The history of this process, as the woodblock subtly wears down during the many passes through the press, is revealed as a mysterious three-dimensional image reveals itself on the flat sheet of paper.
In Takahira’s works, there are two sides of his vision. One is from his memory, and the other is from his actual seeing at this moment. His focus is to combine them, and distill the essence. Like internal and external sight, the relationship between the past and the present of his vision overlaps his process of printing.
Ushio’s print series “Empty time – 0 ” is inspired by her observation of light while free-diving. While underwater, she observed that water never showed the same color and light never moved exactly the same way even though they appeared to be the repetition of certain patterns at a glance. In addition, Ushio observed that her sensory organs became more active in an environment that forced her to hold breath with 0 gravity. She found that her visceral response to her environment seemed more pure than that from her intellectual consciousness on land.
The images from “Empty time – 0” were created with multiple layers of transparent colors using multiple woodblocks and templates. Each print is the result of slightly different processes, conceived at the moment of printing—like the light Ushio saw underwater that has infinite variations echoing every slight change in the environment.