Signs of Faraway (Artist Statement)

Hiraku Suzuki

Drawing exists between pictures and language.
In fact, drawing and writing were once one and the same. Long before we began using what we now know as language, the ancients engraved the rhythms of the celestial motion into mammoth tusks, onto cave walls, and across the face of ordinary stones. This is how humans invented signs. Letters and language were developed by humans to orient themselves within a world where the unknown is constantly present. And we have managed to survive as a species by using language to better study and relate to our world. But is anyone living today capable of fully grasping new occurrences within our world’s ever-growing expanse of time and space and pointing to the future with only our existing concept of language?

My methodology interprets drawing as an alternative archaeology that corresponds to our world in the present progressive. I begin by first slipping into the world through the ubiquitous cracks that already exist and deconstructing them into dots and lines.

Take, for example, the wavering shapes of the sunlight as it filters through the trees onto the ground, the chipped white lines in the asphalt, or the curving veins of a leaf. An indecipherable mathematical formula, graffiti, veins bulging through the skin, the outlines of buildings, the topography of a rice terrace in China, the sound of footsteps echoing in an underpass, and an animal’s trail. The grooves on a record, the branches of a tropical plant, an afterimage induced by car headlights, the fictional company logo seen for a fleeting moment on a billboard in the scene of a science-fiction movie, the path of a mosquito flying through space.
I look at the dots and lines within them. I look at them from forward and behind. I trace them. Use my body. Recompose them. Produce an effect. Repeat.

In this way, I connect fragments of the deconstructed world and generate new lines, which become the circuit that connects the here and now with somewhere, some time. Neither pictures nor words can be transmitted in this circuit. Only signs can. I excavate the signs in the ever-changing present moment. My practice is to discover and acquire flickering signs of light in the faraway, in the dark and widening gap between drawing and writing.

March 2015
an essay for the solo exhibition “Signs of Faraway” at Aomori Contemporary Art Centre

 

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