top of page

Yasuhiro Hara

“Sho -Kotobuki-”

2 th October (Sat) – 23th October (Sat), 2021​

Hours: 13:00-19:00 Closed on Sundays

YOD Gallery is honored to present Yasuhiro Hara's “Sho -Kotobuki-”.


Using a technique called ‘impasto’ which means thickly applied paint, Hara brings out a three-dimensional sense of reality to the paintings, presenting the viewer with a semi-dimensional presence of the paint. The works are applied with a large amount of acrylic paint and acrylic gel medium. While the large-scaled, thick strokes that are spread over the canvas may lead us to think that the work is created under considerable motions of the artist, they are actually achieved with rather gentle physical movements. These works consist of both the contingency that even the artist himself is unable to predict the result of the work while creating it and the inevitability caused by gravity, through which the playful relationship among the artists’ own body, the canvas, and the paints could be perceived.




Artist Statement - - About “SHO”


The theme of my work is the word "SHO(壽)" and calligraphy. When Japanese people see this word, they would immediately relate it to weddings, longevity celebrations and other festive occasions where the word is often seen.


The Zen monk Hakuin Ekaku, who is said to have left behind more than 10,000 works of Zen painting and calligraphy to spread the teachings of Zen, often used this character. The motif of "Enso" in Zen painting is also used by Jiro Yoshihara of the Gutai Art Association in his later years.


The calligraphers of the postwar avant-garde calligraphy group Bokubi(墨美) had a great influence on artists of painting and art through the introductions by the Association of Contemporary Art(現代美術懇談会). Yoshihara was very impressed by the calligraphy of a Zen monk named Nakahara Nantenbo, who was the chief priest of Kaiseiji(海清寺) in Nishinomiya. Yoshihara might have been inspired by the “Enso” from him.


As is mentioned earlier, the character for "Kotobuki" (longevity) is used in Japan for celebrations such as marriages and New Year's, as well as to celebrate longevity. Therefore, the word "sun(寸)" that is at the lower part of the kanji serves the function to remind people how the length of life is measured by the concept of years and months. Nowadays, the young generation in Japan has started to doubt: in an era when living for a hundred years is no longer a rare thing, is it real happiness to live a long life? Meanwhile, the suicide rate among young people in Japan is extremely high, even among developed countries. While considering that it might be time to rethink the meaning of life, I carry out my artistic practice.


Using Hanshi-paper and ink to write on the two-dimensional surface, Calligraphy is described as having a "depth". In contrast, I am trying to make works that contain a looming amount of materials. Thanks to the development of industrial technology, I am able to create works with physically anti-three-dimensional mediums. I manage to express physical "weight" and “thickness” throughout my works as a gesture of confrontation to the era when Superflat and silkscreen Arts are booming, as well as the existence of words and languages beyond that.




Hope you will enjoy this exhibition!

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram


bottom of page