Of course the Japanese room does have its picture alcove, and in it a hanging scroll and a flower arrangement. But the scroll and the flowers serve not as ornament but rather to give depth to the shadows. We value a scroll above all for the way it blends with the walls of the alcove, and thus we consider the mounting quite as important as the calligraphy or painting. Even if the greatest masterpiece will lose its worth as a scroll if it fails to blend with the alcove, while a work of no particular distinction may blend beautifully with the room and set off to unexpected advantage both itself and its surroundings.
In praise of shadows, Junichiro Tanizaki
Through a site-specific installation, using small paintings and other sculptural elements, Nacho Martín Encinas generates a space that, with a certain reference to traditional Japanese aesthetics, reflects on the idea of modulation of space through the objects it contains.
Based on the particularity of the TRACES research station with its glass windows and walls of white fabric and wood - reminiscent of the Japanese shoji – Nacho Martin Encinas’ installation addresses issues rooted in the Japanese tradition such as the play of shadows, the relationship between writing and the pictorial gesture, the poetics of color or contrasts of different surfaces.
The first space presents the 8 poems that give the exhibition its title. These small paintings connect with the idea of the haiku in different aspects: the size and the condensed formal aspect, the idea of recording an impression of a thing or phenomenon, the search for simplicity and synthesis or the limitation to a certain code, such as the use of recurring words in the case of the haikus or the use of a palette reduced to four colours in the case of the paintings.
The second space focuses on the mechanisms of toko no ma, a Japanese room space that exemplifies the idea of the value of the object as a modulator of space and vice versa, mentioned in the quotation that introduces this text.
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