in Tokyo / Japan
01.06.2024 - 29.06.2024 00:00
Hiroto Tomonaga - In the distance

Kosaku Kanechika is pleased to present “In the distance,” a solo exhibition by Hiroto Tomonaga. Hiroto Tomonaga captures transitory moments in which things he is looking at ever so briefly appear to him as something else, and strives to render this in painting. In his work, this change that occurs before his eyes gradually translates into paint on the canvas, becoming fixed on the surface. While the resulting paintings are fixed, they feel as if they might resume moving once again, and express the sense of helplessness the artist himself feels regarding the world he sees before him.

Tomonaga’s paintings have a distinctive surface texture. He creates a surface that, while not physically thick, possesses depth, building the paint up with the brush, kneading it, or layering it. There seems to be an intensity to the canvas, almost as if it were pulsating or breathing, but also somehow heading towards oblivion, and yet in a way that is by no means subtle. Seeing his paintings with one’s own eyes produces a much more powerful impression than seeing them on a screen.

Tomonaga often notes down memorable landscapes and words that he comes across in his daily life and ruminates on them. When this act extends to his painting practice, the images and ideas in his mind come into being, using the method described above, as something that hovers and wavers, but without taking clear form.

The indeterminate nature of Tomonaga’s art defies language and earthly logic, upsetting the world in which we live comfortable, albeit constrained, lives.

The artist has provided the following statement for the exhibition:

They measured the intraocular pressure of my eyes as part of the vision test when I went to get a new pair of glasses.
A gust of air was blown at the eyeball, and its stiffness and elasticity were measured based on the depression that was made and the speed with which the eyeball’s original shape was restored.
The air hitting against my eyeball gave me a visceral sense of its existence for the first time.
In this interaction with the outside, there was an internal reaction that pushed back against any pressure or stress.
I feel that when I look at something, I am catching the pressure, rather than the image of the thing itself, and that when I look hard at something unfamiliar, the push back and forth becomes even stronger.

Recently I have gone to view the sea, which is close to my studio.
The dark night, devoid of any fishing fires, obscured the boundaries between sand, water, and sky, a roaring sound the only indication of movement. Staring at the area I presumed to be the horizon, I thought I saw waves in the shape of ambiguous speckles of eye floaters.
A large plane possessing pressure as well as soft spots appeared mixed together in my vision.
The vista off in the distance not immediately visible to me pushed against my eyes with all the more force.

Hiroto Tomonaga was born in Saga Prefecture, Japan, in 1997 and is currently based in Tokyo. In 2020, he graduated from the Department of Painting at Musashino Art University, and received a Master of Fine Arts from the same institution in 2022. He has presented in solo exhibitions including “Diffuse Reflection” (Musashino Art University, 2023), “Balance” (gallery Binosha, 2022), “Flashing Point” (Gallery Water, 2021), and notable group exhibitions include “FACE2022” (Sompo Museum, 2022), and “Changting Gallery Prize” (Changting Gallery, 2022). In 2022 he was a finalist for “FACE2022”, and received a judge’s prize at Art Award Tokyo Marunouchi. This exhibition will be his second show at Kosaku Kanechika.

Gallery hours Tue-Sat 11 am – 6 pm
Closed on Sun, Mon and National Holidays

Exhibition Duration 01.06. – 29.06.2024


Kosaku Kanechika
TERRADA Art Complex 5F, 1-33-10 Higashi-Shinagawa, Shinagawa-ku
140-0002 Tokyo


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