Takayuki Hara: Magic We Lost
Curated by Marek Wolynski
20 – 24 January 2014
Opening: Tuesday, 21 January 2014, 6:30pm
Unit24 Gallery is pleased to announce ‘Magic We Lost’, Takayuki Hara’s solo show at the European Parliament in Brussels. The exhibition is a collective display of drawings created in the last couple of years. The artist challenges viewers’ imagination with painstakingly executed images where shapes come coincidentally and without restrictions. Instead of planning things he goes with the flow and expresses the versatile, tactile and intimate feeling that drawing with pencils may give. Hara travels through macro and micro world of nature, with a strong reference to myths and fairy tales, in which he believes that the nature defines and embraces the differences, rather than treating them unequally.
Takayuki Hara also draws inspiration from Wabi-Sabi, a Japanese aesthetic, which can be roughly translated as "rustic beauty", and is centered on the idea of getting back to nature, acceptance of imperfection, simplicity, and intimacy since things are considered naturally beautiful. Wherefore qualities such as irregularity, intimacy, modesty, and worldliness play a vital role. Hara is drawn to wind, stone, rain, and openness of nature, which he seeks to mimic in his work, e.g. by creating the illusion of movement on the flat surface of paper. In his most recent drawings, however, Hara leaves that untamed world behind and enters hallucinatory imaginary realm. Phantasmagoric landscapes emerge in front of the viewer; fantastical creatures hide behind trees, plants are equipped with ferocious jaws, fairylike events take place. Colours and textures appear to emphasize unrefined and simple style.
This exhibition touches on the issue of magic and hope. Drawing inspiration from his personal life and moments of weakness, Takayuki Hara explains, ‘When I was a kid, my grandmother used magic all the time. Whenever I cried, she appeared from nowhere to give me a cuddle. When she was lying in her hospital bed, I was wondering why she did not use her magic to get better. She never did. She lost her magic. Almost thirty years have gone by, and I still believe in the magic she used on me. Anyone can be affected, devastated, or profoundly disheartened by the events that are out of our hands and we need to restore our faith somehow. These drawings are the fragments of magic I think we lost nowadays. Hopefully they will take you to the place where you left it.’
Takayuki Hara was born in Tokyo, Japan. He has studied Creative Writing/Japanese Literature at Hosei University in Tokyo, and BA (hons) and MA in Fine Art at City and Guilds of London Art School, where he is a tutor now. His works are included in private collections throughout UK, France, Germany, Poland, and USA, also Gretta Sarfaty Collection, and Cynthia Corbett Collection. He lives and works in London, United Kingdom.
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