It might strike you as rather odd, but although I can listen to my favourite song an excessive amount of times in a row, I can only watch a movie I like again after a good amount of years have passed. And when it comes to art? If I’m captivated by a piece, I can stare unblinkingly at it, completely engrossed by its beauty for minutes on end, again and again. It doesn’t matter if I’ve seen it before, a piece of art with multifaceted meanings and brilliant technique will always deliver a new perspective to look at every time.
This is how I feel about the works of exceedingly talented Hayakawa Katsumi, whose solo exhibition is now show at the Nou Gallery until March 27, 2016.
I was kindly invited by Nou Gallery to the opening a couple of weeks ago, after I gushed a review I wrote of the gallery about how much I appreciated his works. You may think I am being too exorbitant in my praise of Hayakawa, however I promise you if you also saw his works up close you too would be consumed by an equal amount of awe and admiration at this visionary.
The solo show of nine works take over the whole first floor of the cozy Nou Gallery in Taipei’s Xinyi Anhe District. Although the works have a beauty worthy of receiving the acclaim of being hung in more prestigious settings, the Nou Gallery’s intimate atmosphere and plain, white walls are the perfect compliment to Hayakawa’s pieces which burst with intricacy and energy. The simple setting gives space for the artworks to scream their glory with a full roar.
Each artwork transfixes the viewer in a trance of finding new and hidden elements within the piece as the minutes tick by. Each piece reflects Hayakawa’s signature sharp, geometric figures and insanely precise handiwork.
I had the honour of meeting the man himself, and in my starstruck state I experienced a rare moment of being a bit tongue tied. Fortunately, he was approachable and friendly, and was more than happy to entertain my curiosity by answering my stream of questions. What struck me most is how humble he is- perhaps being involved so intimately with his works he has lost consciousness of how magnificent his works truly are? Or perhaps this speaks greater of the number of talented artists who have lost their humility?
In any case, I felt very touched that he took the time out to talk with guests- it added a further dimension of appreciation to his works. Curious as to the meaning of each work, I asked him whether he has a vision of a theme as he creates his works. He commented that he thinks of his works as a fusion of looking down from outer space to a city, and technology. The main construction of the work looks like a bundle of technology, but the fact it is simply paper renders it unique. He additionally noted how he is influenced by Japanese aesthetics and philosophy, and this has a bearing on his work.
I also asked him how long it takes to complete a piece. He said that he works on a couple of pieces at a time, and finishes on in about two months. Two months. I can barely churn out more than a couple of entries in that time- and he can create an exquisite masterpiece! I exclaimed that most people would take a year or so to complete one of his works, and he brushed off the praise by saying that he’s a professional so of course it would only take two months. Humble to the core.
Get up close and let your eyes dart to each of the many little elements that come together in the realm of the artwork. Look through the ‘windows’ of the work and peer to the end. Note the layers, and the precision in the construction and design of each part.
Give each section the time it deserves to come out and play. As if popping up from a rabbit hole, you’ll begin to notice elements that didn’t seem to appear before. The tiny filled bottles resting peacefully within the hugging arms of their paper home. The glass discs which playfully snatch your gaze. When engaging with Hayakawa’s works, each viewer will walk away with the treasure of having had an experience that cannot be mirrored by any other.
Stand back and take in the work as a whole. Note the complex layers, colours, the glint of reflecting elements. Perhaps spend a minute appreciating the beauty of manipulating something so simple as paper to create the complex world you see in front of you.
Also on display are some stunning glass works and prints.
Hayakawa’s show is a gift to the Taipei art scene and essential viewing for, well, anyone that is fortunate enough to have the chance. I cannot urge you more to pop into the Nou Gallery and see the works for yourself and make your own judgments.
If you’d like to find out more about the gallery and Hayakawa’s previous show at Nou, read my previous review here.
Let me know in the comments below what you thought of the exhibition! I’d also love to hear what your favourite artworks are- and anything else you’re willing to share. Perhaps that you also can listen to a track five times in a row 🙂
Exhibition period: Now til March 27, 2016.
Where: No.232, Sec. 4, Ren’ai Rd., Da’an Dist., Taipei City 106, Taiwan
Nearest MRT: Zhongxiao Dunhua or Xinyi Anhe
Opening Hours: Tues. ~ Sun. 11:00 am ~ 7:00 pm (Closed on Mondays)
How much: FREE
Photography: Click away (no flash)
*Nou Gallery is open year round so pop in any time of the year!
開幕 : 2016.02.27 (六) 15:00
展期 : 2016.02.27 – 03.27
地點 : Nou Gallery新畫廊 台北市仁愛路四段232號1F
時間 : 11:00-19:00 (週一休)