Exhibition

TOSHIKI HAYASAKA: SWORD STROKES

November 23 – November 27, 2022
Hasayaka’s philosophy is simple: live in the moment. He invites us to focus on the present moment and experience our lives as a collection of moments. This philosophy is fully expressed in his series Bushido- the way of the warrior- where each round canvas is painted as the stroke of a Samurai sword. Each stroke represents a moment, together making the experience of life.
Hasayaka’s work arises from the transformative experience of catastrophe. In the aftermath of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, Hasayaka worked as a volunteer firefighter in search and rescue. Searching for bodies and survivors in the ruins after the tsunami, it was difficult to comprehend the ordinary lives lived just a day before. With the simple ‘thank you’ uttered by an elderly woman he rescued in Miyagi he came to understand the immense power of words. This moment became his artistic theme- Kotodama- the spirit of words. More recently, the coronavirus pandemic has confronted us all with the sudden loss of many precious lives, and radically disrupted our experience of the ‘ordinary.’ Samurai warriors, faced with the daily possibility of catastrophe, relied on their spirituality, strong sense of responsibility and respect for righteousness- all tenets of Bushido, which remain in Japanese people’s ethics and morals even today.
Hasayaka’s work reflects these Japanese Zen aesthetics. Colors and strokes are first felt, then expressed onto canvas. The simplicity of his strokes conveys Wabisabi- Japanese aesthetics emphasizing simplicity and refinement. His round canvases remind us of the sun represented on the Japanese flag, the moon and the circle representing harmony. While respecting Zen tranquility, his expression bursts onto canvas as if magma from a mountain, using the powder of andesite rock into which magma hardens as it cools. Thus, the dialectic of ‘stillness’ and ‘motion’ are beautifully expressed in his work.
During the exhibition, he will produce a painting as a live performance.
Curated by Kyoko Sato.

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