in Tokyo / Japan
26.09.2015 - 24.10.2015 11:00 - 19:00
Naoto Kawahara - Chronostasis

Taka Ishii Gallery is pleased to announce a solo exhibition with Naoto Kawahara. This exhibition, which will feature five new paintings, will be his sixth solo exhibition with the gallery and his first in seven years.

“I produce paintings with the belief that a painter must enter the unknown. The current series of paintings are of a classical style and subject matter, but they also mark my entrance into the unknown. I intend to hang onto the rediscovery of expressionistic spirit, and to my observations of the physiological elements and embodiedness that I realized in making these works.” (Naoto Kawahara)

The exhibition title “Chronostasis” is a type of illusion in which a visual stimulus perceived immediately after rapid eye movement appears for an extended duration. The word derives from the Greek words chronos (time) and stasis (standing). A well-known example of chronostasis is the illusion of the second hand of a clock temporarily stops. In this case, when one looks at an analog clock after quickly moving the eye, the movement of the second hand appears to move slower for the first second than the following second, or it appears to have temporarily frozen still. In order to create a seamless picture, the brain eliminates the visual trace and blur caused by rapid shifts in perspective and replaces it with the visual stimulus, which the eye last focused on.

Kawahara has long produced photorealistic paintings that faithfully reproduce people, landscapes, and scenes from films and photographs around him. In recent years, he has made references to classic works by Dürer, Balthus, Cranach, Degas, Munch, Bonnard, and Pieter Claesz, using different models and re-envisioning the scenes in new paintings.

For the series featured in the exhibition, Kawahara has focused on the Meiji era painter Busho Hara (1866–1912). In regards to Hara’s works, Kawahara has commented, “They have an expressionistic spirit that strangely combines the feeling of uncertainty regarding life (or sex), as seen in Munch’s “Puberty” (1894-95), with a glimmer of hope.” Kawahara’s series takes as its theme, the pursuit of the reciprocal embodiedness, which exists within the classical air of Hara’s paintings.

Naoto Kawahara (Tokyo, 1971) is an artist based in Tokyo. After he worked as an industrial designer, Kawahara studied at the Lorenzo de Medici Institute in Florence. He has participated in the group exhibitions, “Biennial of Painting / Biënnale van de schilderkunst,” Museum van Deinze en de Leiestreek, Deinze (2014), “The Figure and Dr. Freud,” Haunch of Venison, New York (2009), “Diana und Aktaion: Der Verbotene Blick auf die Nacktheit,” Museum Kunst Palast, Düsseldorf (2008) and “Attention to Detail,” The FLAG Art Foundation, New York (2008). His solo exhibitions have included Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo (1999, 2001, 2003,2005, 2008) and Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp (2007, 2012).

Gallery hours Tues-Sat 11 am – 7 pm


Taka Ishii Gallery Tokyo
3-10-11 B1 Sendagaya Shibuya-ku
151-0051 Tokyo


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