アート・遊|ART U

Blog|Art U Staff Blog “asobe”

 白髪一雄の<水滸伝シリーズ>Kazuo Shiraga’s SUIKODEN series

造形の純粋性を求める吉原治良は作品にタイトルを付けることを嫌っていました。白髪さんはそれにに渋々従って<無題>とか<作品 B>とか無機質なタイトルを付けていました。しかし白髪さんにとってはタイトルは必然性があるのです。とりわけ ‘59年から始まった<水滸伝シリーズ>は白髪一雄の画業の核になるものですが、それは中学生の頃から原書まで読むほど傾倒していて白髪さんのの血肉になっているものです。ですから、作品は登場人物の表現なのです。

Seeking purity of art, Jiro Yoshihara disliked the practice of giving titles to works. Kazuo Shiraga followed Yoshihara’s lead somewhat grudgingly, using lifeless, unemotional titles such as Untitled and Work B. But Shiraga actually saw a title as essential. This is particularly clear in the SUIKODEN series of paintings that he began in 1959, which forms the core of his oeuvre. The series is based on the Water Margin stories that had become an inseparable part of Shiraga’s makeup. He even read them in the original Chinese while still in junior high school. The works in this series are representations of SUIKODEN characters.

確か亡くなられる前年、アート・遊の展覧会で<地耗星白日鼠(Chizokusei Hakujitsuso) >をご覧になった時、〜<地賊星鼓上蚤(Chikousei Kojoso)>とこの2点がなかなかかけへんかったんや、なんでぃゆうたらこの二人はこそ泥とチンピラやからわし嫌いなんや!ほんでどうしてもかけぇへんかったんや、これでようよう水滸伝が完結したのや〜と感無量でおっしゃっていたお顔が今も目に浮かんできます。

The year before he died, he saw Chikousei Hakujitsuso at Art U’s exhibition. I remember vividly the depth of emotion in his face as he talked about this work and Chizokusei Kojoso: “Those two were particularly difficult because I hate the characters; one’s a sneak thief, and the other’s a hoodlum. I couldn’t paint them for ages, so they ended up being the last in the series.”

成る程108点のシリーズの内、約 106点が ‘60年代に制作されている、それは比叡山修行前の最も油の乗った壮年期でありまた生白髪(なましらが)の時期です。それらの作品のクオリティの高さと点数からいっても白髪の画業にとり水滸伝は抜き差しならぬものであることは申すまでもないと思います。そして何よりも私の探究心が刺激されるのは、白髪一雄を形成する大陸・中国文化の周波数の根源です。それは日本文化のルーツへの憧憬でもありましょう。

That explained why of the 108 works in the series, 106 were created in the 1960s, the “unadulterated Shiraga” period when the artist was in his prime, before going off to Mount Hiei and becoming a monk. In terms of both quality and number of items produced, the SUIKODEN series is indisputably an inextricable part of his work. And what stimulated my curiosity more than anything was that its origin was on the same frequency as the continental-Asian, Chinese culture that had a formative influence on Kazuo Shiraga. His attraction to the roots of Japanese culture surely comes from the same source.

白髪の一番のお気に入りは京都国立近代美術館蔵の< 天魁星呼保義(Tenkaisei Kohogi)>です。天暴星両頭蛇は猟師だったので、狩猟好きの白髪が最も共鳴した人物であったのではないでしょうか 。梁山泊ではないが<水滸伝シリーズ>が一堂に集結する展覧会があったらと夢は膨らみます。国内の美術館に 40 点 余収蔵されていますから夢のまた夢ではないでしょう。はたまた海外に流出した水滸伝シリーズを訪ねてお遍路の旅をしょうかな?と私の妄想は膨らんでいくのです。

Shiraga’s personal favorite is Tenbousei Ryoutouda, which is in the collection of the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto. The Tenbousei Ryoutouda character was a hunter, which is almost certainly why he resonated most with Shiraga, who was himself a keen hunter. Osaka may not be Mount Liang, but I have growing dreams of an exhibition that brings together all the characters of the SUIKODEN series. Japanese art museums already have more than 4o of the works in the series, so maybe the dream is not totally unrealistic. Perhaps I could start with a pilgrimage to visit all the SUIKODEN works that are scattered around the world? This dream is getting more and more interesting!

追; #177「聖狗」はもともと無題でありましたがアート・遊の展覧会の時に自らマジックペンでキャンバスの裏にタイトルを記されました。その様はまるで名無しの子供にやっと名前を付けられたという産みの親のお顔でした。

PS: Work #177, Seiku, started out without a name, but when Kazuo Shiraga re-encountered it at the Art U exhibition, he wrote the title on the back of the canvas with a permanent marker. He looked as delighted as a parent separated from a child at birth who was finally able to give the child its name.

 

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お水取り(修二会)Omizutori ceremony

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ニュースが東大寺のお水取りの始まりを写していた。丁度白髪先生の比叡山修行のところを読み返していたのでかビビッときてすぐさま行った。大門を潜っても二月堂への路は遠い。まるで一歩一歩と古代の時間に入っていくようだ。見上げれば松陰の間に三日月が空を切る。それは古径の線のように靭く。

灯が消され、二月堂は漆黒に包まれる。漆黒は人々の騒めきも飲み込んでしまう。やがて階段から小さな松明が密やかに、松明は次第に大きくなっていく、大きな松明がまるデーモンのように荒らしく駆け登っていく。次から次えと息をする間もなく。童子は回廊の大柱では高々と松明を振り回す、炎は風と戦うように勢いを増し火花を猛烈にドロッピングする。そして、炎のマッスは欄干を猛スピードで奔る。大柱で止められた炎は高々と持ち上げられ容赦なく人々の上に火花を撒き散らす。私は火の粉を被りながら、白髪先生のロープで製作している姿を呼び覚まされたのでした。

Just after I re-read Shiraga’s description of his training at the temple on Mount Hiei, I saw a newscast about the Omizutori (Shuni-e) ceremony beginning at Todaiji temple in Nara. Something clicked, so I rushed off to catch the ceremony. Arriving at Todaiji and entering the main gate, there was still a long way to walk. Each step I took seemed like a step back in time. Looking up, the crescent moon cut across the sky between the darkened pine trees, as supple as a line painted by Kokei Kobayashi.

With all the lights out, Nigatsu-do and its surroundings were pitch black, smothering the commotion of the people below. Then, the flames of small torches appeared quietly on the stairs. The torches grew larger, and a big torch rushed up the stairs as if it were a demon. One thing happened after another, without the chance to catch a breath. When the doji holding the torches arrive at the deck at the front of the hall, they lift their torches up high by the corner-post and wave them around, fanning the flames. The torches flare up vigorously, flames pitted against the rush of air, dropping a frenzy of sparks. Then the mass of flames rushes furiously along the balustrade until blocked by the post at the end, where the torch is lifted up again, remorselessly scattering sparks on the people below. Bathed in the shower of sparks, I recalled the figure of Shiraga painting, holding onto his rope.

 白髪一雄のアトリエ Shiraga’s studio

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もう10年くらい前になるだろうか?尼崎の神田中通りの「日の出理容店」を訪ねたのは、当時で既に百歳過ぎたオーナーが隣のビルを案内して下さった。ビルはビルでも間口の狭い4階くらいの商店街に良くある矮小な建物だった。狭い階段を3階か4階まで百歳のお方のおぼつかない後について昇った。〜ここが白髪さんのアトリエだったよ、ここで生活もしていたよ〜っと言われ驚いた。あの 200 や 300 号大の作品をここで制作されたとは!恐らく左の写真はこのアトリエだと思うが、もう画面が一杯一杯だ。年代を繰ってみると 1955~1982 年、 31~58歳までの 27 年間、最も油の乗り切った時代で白髪一雄の代表作はここで生まれたのだ。しかも富士子さんとの共同アトリエだったのだ。富士子さんにガラスの破片の掃除をやかましく言われたのは尤もなことである。 '82 年以降は宮内町のお屋敷で制作されたが右の写真を見ても決して充分なスペースであったとは思えない、あのスケールの大きな作品から考えても。

It must have been about ten years ago when I visited Kazuo Shiraga’s studio. I made my way to the Hinode Barbershop on Kanda-Nakadori in Amagasaki, and the owner, who was already over a hundred years old, took me to the studio up the stairs alongside the shop. It was an unimpressive, undersized building with about four stories, of a type often found in old shopping streets. I followed the unsteady centenarian up the narrow stairs to the third or fourth floor, and was astounded when he announced: “This was Mr Shiraga’s studio. He didn’t just work here, he lived here, too.” It was amazing to think that he could have produced works as large as No.200 (259 cm on the longest side) and No.300 (291 cm on the longest side) canvases in such a small place. The photo on the left, with every bit of the space taken up by canvas, was probably taken here. By my calculations, he worked here for 27 years from 1955 to 1982, from age 31 to 58. That means that his best-known works, those from the prime of his career, were all created here. Moreover, he shared the studio with his wife, Fujiko. It’s hardly surprising that he was always telling her to make sure to clean up the shards of glass that she was using. And as you can see from the photo on the left, even after he moved to the house in Miyauchicho in 1982, he still did not really have enough space, considering the scale of his works.

サンタモニカのサム・フランシスのアトリエが浮かんできた。そして、そのスケールの大きさにど肝を抜かされたことを思い出した。そこはもう体育館だった。俯瞰して描くサムはキャンバスを床に広げる。その大きさは300~500号くらいかな、それが何点も広げられている、同時進行で製作されるとか。真ん中には大きなリフトが鎮座してあって、絵の具のドラム缶がずらりと並ぶ様は工場のよう、それに風呂屋のモップ見たいのが立てかけられている。

Thinking about the scale, I remembered the studio where Sam Francis worked in Santa Monica. The sheer size of it was mind-boggling! It was like a gymnasium. Francis also placed his canvases on the floor, looking down on them as he worked. His canvases were large, measuring maybe 3 meters or even more, and there were several of them spread out. He must have worked on them in parallel. In the center of the room was a large elevating work platform, and there were rows of drum cans full of paint. The overall impression was one of an industrial operation, together with a lot of mops on sticks, like those they use for cleaning at a Japanese public bath.

そして、どちらも俯瞰して画く画家、大画面を画くのに白髪はロープをサムは柄の長いモップをと考案したことを改めて認識した。

That memory brought home to me once more the fact that although these two painters both worked on large canvases from above, they had each discovered different solutions to painting, Shiraga using a rope, and Francis using long-handled mops.

海外の美術館、やオークション会場アート・フエァーなどでサム・フランシスは勿論世界の現代美術の巨匠と展示されているのを見るとき、白髪一雄の作品は一歩も引けを取らない、それどころか親分格にさえ見えるのです。改めて白髪一雄の作品の産出の場に感動を憶えるのでした。

Traveling outside Japan, I often see works by Sam Francis at art museums, auction houses, and art fairs, celebrating him as a giant of contemporary art. I always come away with the feeling that Shiraga’s works are by no means inferior to those by Francis, and in fact, it is Shiraga who seems to be the master. That thought reminds me of how deeply I was impressed by the place where Kazuo Shiraga produced his works.

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“asobi”<あそび>って一体なんでしょうか?

古来日本文化には~遊びをせんとや生れけむ、戯れせんとや生れけん、遊ぶ子供の声きけば、我が身さえこそ動がるれ~梁塵秘抄(りょうじんひしょう)や禅語「遊心」が風流=芸術の根底にあります。
西洋ではホイジンガの「ホモ・ルーデンス」という遊戯が人間活動の本質であり、文化を生み出す根源だと思想があります。
私には三人の赤ん坊を育てた臨床体験が鮮明に脳裏に刻みこまれています。乳に満ち足り、寝足りた赤ん坊の行為ですがそれはそれは好奇心に溢れています。手足で遊んだり、触れるものは何でも口に持っていったり、触覚、視覚、聴覚をフル回転して一時の休みもなく遊んでいます。ハイハイができるようになるとその好奇心は一段と高まり、その好奇心により運動能力が発達していく様に見えます。
この好奇心こそ人間の本質であり asobiではないでしょうか?

さて前書きが長くなりましたが、その狙いは私の 密やかな asobiを正当化するための方便でもあるのです。
寛仁大度な作家さま方が私の“asobi”に目くじらたてられないことを願っての、

ところで、今私が目にしている作品はかってはあなたの胎内から産み出されたものですね。安産であったか、七転八倒の難産であったかはわかりませんが産み出された作品はもう一つの独立した人格?というか画格を持った生命体として存在しているのです。
そして見る者の心に生命の輝きを点火させ、時空を超えて生命のエネルギーを放出し続けるのです。
もうそれは産みの親である作家さんの圏外の事象なのです。
感動された時、もうその人のPersonal possessionになるのですから。
感動するとは一体どういうことでしょうか?
それは見者の内にある感性が呼び覚まされる、そして共鳴することではないでしょうか。見者の未窟の鉱脈を探り当てる歓喜と奏でる協奏曲こそ至宝の asobi ではないでしょうか?

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Asobi

References to play abound in Japanese culture passed down over the centuries. Good examples include one of the Ryojin-hisho* songs, “We are all born to play, born to have fun. When I hear the voices of children playing, my old body still responds, wanting to join in,” and the Zen word, Yushin/Asobi-gokoro (A playful mind/Playfulness). Such references indicate that play (asobi) is one of the foundations of art and the popular arts. Similar ideas can be seen in the West, such as Johan Huizinga’s Homo Ludens (or Playing Man), which discussed the importance of play as an essential element in human activity and the origin of culture.

The experience of nursing and rearing my three children is vividly imprinted on my mind. Babies who had plenty of breast milk and sufficient sleep were absolutely brimming with curiosity. They played constantly, with their senses of touch, sight, and hearing in high gear, playing with their hands and feet, and putting anything they touched in their mouths. Once they started crawling, their curiosity went up another gear, seeming to drive the development of their physical abilities and motor skills. This curiosity is surely the essence of humanity, the manifestation of Asobi-gokoro or playful mind.

Please forgive the lengthy introduction, which largely serves to justify my own furtive play. I hope my playing will not overtax the artists’ generosity and compassion. You know, the artwork that I am now looking at has come forth from your womb. I don’t know if it was an easy delivery or an excruciatingly painful, difficult delivery, but now that it is done, the work that you gave birth to exists as a separate entity with its own independent character and its own life.

That entity sparks the fire of life in the hearts of viewers, triggering the ongoing emission of life energy that will transcend time and space. What happens is already outside the control of the artist who gave birth to it. When your art moves someone emotionally, that experience becomes his or her personal possession.

What does it mean to move someone? Surely it means stirring the viewer’s emotions and resonating inside him or her.Performing a ‘concerto’ that resounds with the joy of discovering an untouched vein of something precious inside the viewer is surely the most treasured form of play.

*Ryojin-hisho (Songs to Make the Dust Dance on the Beams): a folk song collection compiled by Cloistered Emperor Go-Shirakawa in the end of Heian period. (12th century)

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