ArtShop Tsukibae

ArtShop Tsukibae

Artist Story

Haruhi Mase

I am currently interested in the flowing shapes of matters and minds, and am trying to think of ways to express the ambiguity through lacquer.
The origin for my artworks is the complex I have towards my own identity. I feel that my own existence is very unstable.
I, as a human, seems to be characterized as “me” with a name, gender, age, looks, voice, or personality.However, in reality, no matter how much I gather these elements of my personality, I always feel that I cannot actually put myself in any kind of shape or form. In other words, I am afraid of the vagueness of my own self.

However, a philosopher named Kiyokazu Washida states that "Our bodies can only be captured as an image" with our "inconsistent bodies." When I encountered with this quote, I felt I was affirmed with my "anxiety towards the vagueness of my existence.” I realized that vagueness is not bad, and it is a somewhat normal way to be. I try my best to put that image into my artworks.

I believe my artworks have a roll of changing “minds” into actual “things”. When we think about the shapes of “things” that we see or touch, we are definitely thinking about the edges and rims of the shapes. However, the moment it becomes a memory or sense, the edges become suddenly vague. This kind of “mind” as a memory or sense will form a sort of shape when I express them as “things” in my artworks and will be down on record.

I mainly use the dry lacquer technique in my artworks. Dry lacquer is a way of forming shapes with spreading linen over an original pattern, which is mostly styrofoam for me. The ways of making the original patterns and ways of spreading the linen over them creates various finished looks, but in my method, I directly apply linen and lacquer over the scraped object.
Therefore, as I repeat the process, the outline becomes vague and loose. I don’t express the original shape, but place importance in the process of when the shapes become vague as I stack layers on them. This is because I believe that this process expresses the “vague outlines and flowing shapes” of the memories and minds, and by completing my artworks the vagueness can be put into shape.

The material that makes the vagueness of memory more certain is lacquer. Originally, lacquer has been appreciated in artworks for its beauty in the finishing touch, and have also been used for repairing for its firmness. I came to think that lacquer can not only just decorate, but that it also has the power to strengthen the existence of things. The formed shapes increases its presence after layers are piled, the process of painting and polishing are repeated, and the accuracy of the shape is improved.
Even if the completed shape is soft or flowing, it’s beauty and solid shape expresses the vague outlines firmly. Therefore, lacquer as a material cannot be replaced by any other to express my theme. I want to continue exploring my artworks and its outlines through the deep relationship between myself and lacquer.

From the owner

ArtShop Tsukibae Owner,
Mayumi Miyanaga

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