Jigokuraku

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Online Exhibition Naoko Majima's Jigokuraku presented by Pierre-Yves Caër Gallery, Paris
NUMBER OF ARTWORKS : 12 PRICE RANGE : 4 000 € - 41 700

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Online Exposition Jigokuraku No words can fully describe the work of the Japanese painter and drawer Naoko Majima: abundant, complex, ambivalent. It was awarded the Grand Prize at the 10th Biennale of Asian Art in Dakka, Bangladesh in 2001. The expression "Jigokuraku", which the artist created by combining two opposite words: hell (jigoku) and heaven (gokuraku), offered itself quite appropriately as the exhibition’s title.
The exhibition showcases drawings, paintings and mix-media works that were created over a period of 30 years. Many of these artworks were previously exhibited in museums, especially in the two retrospective exhibitions held in 2018 at the Nagoya City Art Museum and at the Ashikaga Museum of Art in Tochigi.
Naoko Majima Japanese painter PRIZES 2018: Aichi Prefectural Arts and Culture Award 2001: The Grand Prize at the 10th Asian Art Biennial Bangladesh
COLLECTIONS Collection Antoine de Galbert, Paris Nagoya City Art Museum Hekinan City Tatsukichi Fujii Museum of Contemporary Art Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art Ashikaga Museum of Art, Tochigi Collection Masuda, Tokyo Collection Otani, Tokyo
SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS Nagoya City Art Museum -Nagoya, 2018 Ashikaga Museum of Art -Tochigi, 2018 Hino gallery —Tokyo, Japan, 2015 “Fey” Mizuma Art Gallery —Tokyo, Japan, 2012 Galleria Finarte —Nagoya, Japan, 2010 Gallery M Contemporary —Aichi, Japan, 2008 « ARCO 08 » Mizuma Art Gallery booth —Madrid, Spain, 2008 Aomori Contemporary Art Centre —Aomori, Japan, 2006 Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art, Aichi, 2006
Brain Drug (iv) - 2018

Technique: Oil on canvas
Size: 194x260 cm
Year: 2018

41,700‎‎ € / COLLECTOR
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Brain Drug (v) - 2019

Technique: Oil on canvas
Size: 194x260 cm
Year: 2019

41,700‎‎ € / COLLECTOR
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Brain Drug (ii) - 2017

Technique: Oil on stucco
Size: 40x30 cm
Year: 2017

4,000‎‎ € / COLLECTOR
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Brain Drug - 2017

Technique: Oil on canvas
Size: 53,3x45,5 cm
Year: 2017

5,000‎‎ € / COLLECTOR
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Brain Drug (iii) - 2015

Technique: Pencil on paper
Size: 114x68 cm
Year: 2015

11,000‎‎ € / COLLECTOR
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Jigokuraku (vi) - 2002

Technique: Pencil on paper
Size: 116x260 cm
Year: 2002

23,000‎‎ € / COLLECTOR
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Jigokuraku (ii) - 2005

Technique: Pencil on paper
Size: 114 x 279
Year 2005

25,000‎‎ € / COLLECTOR
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Jigokuraku (iv) - 2004

Technique: Pencil on paper
Size: 114,5x240 cm
Year: 2004

21,000‎‎ € / COLLECTOR
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Jigokuraku (v) - 2015

Technique: Pencil on paper
Size: 48x67 cm
Year: 2001

5,500‎‎ € / COLLECTOR
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Jigokuraku (i) - 1997

Technique: Mixed media
Size: 100x144 cm
Year: 1997

11,000‎‎ € / COLLECTOR
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Jigokuraku (iii) - 1992

Technique: Mixed media
Size: 99x173 cm
Year: 1992

12,000‎‎ € / COLLECTOR
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Jigokuraku, Emerging Spontaneous Moment of “Eros and Thanatos"

Ryu Niimi, Professor at the Musashino Art University, Ex-founding director of the Oita Prefectural Art Museum - 05/20/2020

As one might knew that the unusual title “ Gigokuraku “ is a coined-word by the artist own, which means “ Gigoku=hell, and gokuraku=Heaven “.

If we face seriously to Majima’s paintings, we naturally feel directly “ sense of emerging, so-to say, painting itself is alive in a whole as moment by moment, moving, emerging, like one monster creature from the other planet “, and everyone agree to this impression is the essential character of her works.

Then, thus, we are to feel the astonishing sense like the music of that Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, great composer of Vienna School, which tells as eternally the fact “ this moment itself is a miracle time in which life and death is interchanging in each second by second.

Following to the famous observation on Mozart’s music by Karl Barth, famous Theologian, we see now “ Miracle of Moment, Eros & Thanatos “ in Majima’s painting. 0).

In this sense, we gradually recognise that the dramatic and dynamic “ duality “, the enormously spontaneous co-existence of “ delight and agony=nihilistic rejection “ is the essential character of her works.

This huge collision of universal scale is the locomotive power of her works.

People usually look these extraordinary unique art works of Majima Naoko as “ bizarre “.

However, as usual, or as always of our cases, people, or we do never understand what is “ bizarre “, since we rarely confront the contemplative, and profound problem of this kind. And, for me this observation and impression seem to be wrong, or rather inaccurate. Because, this “ bizarreness “ is derived from the totally unknown palace that belong to elsewhere, that the artist described appropriately as “ from her brain “.

Abruptly, when I see Majima’s works, I always strongly remind of the extremely minimal and compact music of Anton Webern, a pioneer of 20 century’s “ A-tonal “ music. If we listen that super-condensed “ 5 pieces for Orchestra “, on the contrary, we recall that Majima’s works were undertaken by “ eliminate “ things as much as they can, it means “ Minimalism “ as we recognise generally.

While on a look, we often misrecognize as Majima’s works appear very polyphonic and cosmic impression which resembles very much to more colourful and gorgeous kaleidoscope, like that great “ La Turagalîla “ symphony, by French contemporary Maestro, Olivier Messiaen. Especially that famous chapter 5, “ Joie du sang des étoiles “ !

In fact, we cannot deny that Majima’s works largely appeals as “ Polyphonic Landscape “, however on the other hand we must pay careful attention to the contents of those works never belong to “ tonal-harmony, and tonal-chord which traditionally belong to the human sense of time duration “, and art works were isolated and neglected from any kind of social stability and its consolation, and eventually, we see those manifest barely as “ Epiphany of Confession towards Nothingness “, which does never belong to anywhere else except to “ her brain “, such as the artist actually often mentions even in her painting’s title. 1). 2).

In this sense, dramatic and dynamic “ duality “, the enormously spontaneous co-existence of “ delight and agony “ stays strongly in her works.

Naoko Majima, Brain Drug 2018

In a words, Majima, an happy, or unhappy daughter of famed modern painter, Kenzo Majima, so-called “ Surrealist “, who was based in Nagoya-city, and it is said that he often mentioned his talented daughter “ To work for the spiritual matters, not to work for daily bread “ as to fit same as his own lifestyle. 3).

Perhaps, “ Nihilism “ itself, was the pure basis of this unique artist, who was brought-up, and raised completely isolated from the ordinary society, or what was needed as to live a human, socialized-animal.

As a human, of course, she is extremely charming girl, always calm, modest, humble, under-stated, if I dare say “ same to her works “, I did never remember any moment in which she personally get lost by becoming nerves. Violently, so far as I know, she is almost like monastery Catholic sister.

And, of course again, I always see her inner solitude, which had never been healed before after her birth, she simply accept her un-adoptable mentality in this planet.

However, as my basic principle, “ The highest character of art work, is the character to ask profoundly what must be art “, I can only find the typical example on the painting problematic question as “ what is painting “.

To exaggerate, I always love to see these paradise-like landscape of “ Anti-Paradise “, as the most charming and lovely paintings which reflect of her unpersonal, or even metaphysical “ Nihilism “.

Ryu Niimi

Art History, Museum Study,
Professor, Musashino Art University
Ex-founding director, Oita Prefectural Art Museum

 

Notes

0). About Karl Barth’s remarks, I borrowed from the great description by Kazuyuki Toyama, music critic, “ 20 chapters on Mozart “, Kazuyuki Toyama, Shunjusha,2006

1).2). About the construction of Webern’s music, I borrowed from the remarks by Akira Nishimura, composer, and from the description by Shinichiro Okabe, music historian. Radio program “ Music of Today 1”, NHK FM, 2020, May 3, “ Anton Webern “, Shinichiro Okabe, 2005, Shunjusha

3.) About the story with her father, I borrowed her own interview with the gallerist, Mr.Kawafune, Internet Magazine “ www.gaden.jp/info/2002a/021009/1009.htm”, “Gaden “, GA-DEN-IN-SUI-SHA,2002

Jigokuraku, Emerging Spontaneous Moment of “Eros and Thanatos”

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Interior Settings with Naoko Majima

- 05/19/2020

The "Apartment view" illustrates how artworks live in different spaces.

Artworks' destiny is to become part of one's private space, which includes other art pieces as well as functional objects.

Interior Settings with Naoko Majima

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