When do we start calling it “a picture”
or stop calling it “a picture” —
I think this is still a picture.
When do we start calling it “a picture”
“Picture” was held from April to June, 2020 during the growing COVID-19 pandemic. The initial concept of which was to exhibit Koji Shiroshita’s artworks at a gallery, each of the painted works was shot and printed, referring to them as “pictures”.
Through the process of shooting, printing and exhibiting what he painted, the artist hoped to raise the following questions:
“Where is the ‘essence’ of a picture?
Does it only exist in a physical work of art?
However, upon the Japanese government’s declaration of a “state of emergency,” he had to shift the venue of the show from the gallery to online. By unintentionally forcing the viewers to view the through screens, he ended up asking his audience about the place where the essence of pictures exists.
Given that the “essence” of a picture is something applied to a medium, or a support, with paint, the “Picture” exhibit releases their “essence” from that.
That essence is printed and exhibited in a gallery and at the same time, publicized in an online exhibition. Online exhibitions will be established as a common forms of viewing art shows in light of the still-going worldwide COVID-19 pandemic (as of August 2020) and the dramatic changes to people’s lifestyles during this time of lockdowns, quarantines and staying home.
Just as we are being tossed about by the information on the spread of the virus, as is how we’re able to view art – either “in real life” or “online”
Physically “touring” the “online exhibition”, which people can see from anywhere in the world, can highlight the meaning of galleries that exist in real life. What he realized through the “Picture” exhibition was that, even though it’s online, the content is greatly affected by how much presence the gallery has.
Shiroshita hopes that his works will be in hands of someone he doesn’t know and the exhibition will be changing its form – in distant places he’s not able to visit, in the world where people’s mobility is limited by the new virus.
see the exhibition
Words from the Media
“Shiroshita paints with India ink, has the works photographed before they dry by Mihotani, prints them with an inkjet printer, and displays the works at exhibition – that was the first plan to prepare for the exhibition. Later, he ended up displaying the works on an LCD screen, which contains the original theme “painting/photographing”.
At the online exhibition, of course viewer can enlarge the images of the artworks, but also VR enables them to see those works as if they were at the gallery. “
– Bijutsu Techo
“At first, the exhibition was to show an artist’s, Koji Shoroshita, works right after he finished them (with the India ink still wet) in the form of inkjet printings of photographs, which were shot by a photographer, Masasi Mihotani.
However, they shifted it to an online exhibition, as is appropriate for the current circumstances, and “showing the series of works on LCD screens” has become the concept of the show. Words like “re-creation” or “expression” come across our minds, but at the same time, it also contains the original theme of “painting/photographing”. Due to the drastic change of situations, the phase of “reconsidering way to see arts” (which was bound to happen eventually), has unexpectedly come sooner rather than later. Considering Shiroshita’s goal of questioning the essence of a “Picture,” it was probably inevitable for this show to become an online exhibition.
– IMA ONLINE
“Shiroshita paints pictures every day, and he has come to think of how he can keep those pictures as they are in the very first moment he thought “This is it! It’s finished!”. He kept shooting photos with his iPhone and was thinking about showing them at an exhibition as artworks someday. This time, a photographer, Masashi Mihotani was present at Shiroshita’s creation, and Mihotani shot the works when Shiroshita thought they were complete, which is how they are printed and displayed at this exhibition.
Are those printed works pictures or photographs? When do we start to call them “pictures” in the first place? – Through the collaborative creation with Mihotani, Shiroshita gets to the question he’s had for these few years, “What is the essence of a “picture”?
Born in Kyoto. Graduated from Kyoto University of Art and Design, Department of Information Design. After 10 years of drawing without publishing his artworks, he started to release them prolifically in 2013 with his debut solo exhibition. Among 4186 entries from 52 countries,he had won the 5th prize (the 3rd in Japan) at Art Olympia 2015, an International Open Art Competition. One of the co-founders of “_act_”, an art group in Osaka, Japan.
Masashi Mihotani (b. 1987, Osaka) is a photographer whose work addresses ideas of awareness and perception within the context of consumerism. Initially self-taught, Mihotani graduated from Visual Arts Osaka’s photography department in 2015. In recent years he has focused primarily on utilizing everyday objects in place of film negatives to create photograms.
This work has been shown internationally, including a 2019 solo show at Kana Kawanishi Photography gallery (Tokyo, Japan) and as well as the 2019 Daili International Photography Festival (Daili, China) and Artists’ Fair Kyoto 2020 (Kyoto, Japan). In 2018 Mihotani received the Japan Photo Award for his “Images are for illustration purposes” series. He has been featured in IMA Step out! Vol.22 as well as numerous online publications. Mihotani is a current part-time photography instructor at Kyoto University of Art and Design and an artist-in-residence at Kagan Hotel in Kyoto, Japan.
Photo : Masashi Mihotani
Website : Mifuku Design https://mifuku-design.com
Logo Design : Tatsuya Tanaka hitoto https://designsalad.net/
Translation of the Statement : Yuki Matsushima http://pinetreetranslation.com
Venue in Osaka : hitoto #301 Tengo-Kyoei-building, 5-7-12 Tenjimbashi Kita-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka https://hitoto.info
Studio : KAGAN HOTEL 99 Sujakuhozo-cho, Shimogyō-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto https://kaganhotel.com/