Kenji Kubota (Independent Curator)
Suzuki Hiraku is known for his collaborations with other genres such as music and fashion, his live paintings conducted domestically and abroad, and his creation of frottage* works from the streets of the places he visits. Although Suzuki is often viewed as a ,”street artist,”drawings and paintings are actually the focus of his works. His “GENGA”(derived from the Japanese words for “language [gengo],” “galaxy [ginga]” and “original drawings [genga]’’) series features over a thousand drawings on A4-sized sheets of paper comprised entirely of geometric and organic lines drawn with markers. Most of the drawings were inspired by billboards around town or signs on the road, which Suzuki reconstructed in his mind and generated into hieroglyphic-like forms.
Suzuki’s drawings, on the other hand, involve linking together the central lines in the veins of dry leaves found lying about town, affixing them to the canvas, smearing dirt over them and then “excavating” the veins. The finished works achieve the type of surprise felt upon digging up relics, and emit a mystique that arouses ancient memories. Meanwhile, Suzuki’s murals feature icons he decides upon based on the atmosphere he feels at their locations, and produce immense scale and flexibility through the coupling of the strength of the lines generated from the massive drawings, and Suzuki’s intuitive inspiration.
ln this way, Suzuki Hiraku uses his own methods to create works that transcend artificial and natural borders, discovering memories and slivers of the far past from all kinds of things around town. Looking at Suzuki’s works that are born through a hybrid crystallization of events in the street, archaeological interest and art, one can feel his determination to remain a creative mediator linking memories of past and present “places” and “events” to the future. [Kubota Kenji]
*A techinque involving placing paper over a textured surface and rubbing a pencil or other drawing tool over the paper to draw the pattern.
an essay contributed to the catalogue of group exhibition “Roppongi Crossing” at Mori Art Museum
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