Photography by Kate Bowen-O'Brien

Kohei Nakata “ still life “

A fleeting moment or ghost like presence describes an image that is barely seen.  It is something veiled or viewed behind a mist.  It is there, but demands the eye to work harder than usual and to spend more time in trying to understand what is meant to be there and how it is there.  The grace in its presence is that it appears effortless, and the labour that went into creating this image or object is never observed.  Process is not just a term to describe the making of a work of art, it is the journey towards its completion. Practice is what the artist has arrived at in achieving the chosen end result.  

The paintings of Kohei Nakata are created by a process of repeated layering using a fast drying medium of acrylic mixed with pva.  Some works are the layering of two or three different colours where the final result appears to have arrived at a single colour where the underlying ones give the impression of appearance.  Other works that concern line or light have pastel, graphite or coloured pencil that lie behind the acrylic pva surface.  

“ still life “ is recognised as a term used to describe a composition of placed objects that are observed and recorded through the use of a medium.  This has been explored throughout the history of art from absolute photographic detail to an abstraction of the forms, and has been made unique by various artists.  The still lifes of Giorgio Morandi are an  example and Kohei Nakata has taken one and recorded it through his process and practice.  The initial impression is that the white painted canvas is empty.  Only by remaining with the piece and searching it, is the typical, “ still life “ of bottle, vase and glass visible. It is barely seen,  the remnants of a memory, a ghost of the past.

This exhibition opened with previous works painted on gauze and board by Kohei Nakata installed with the cha wan ( tea bowls ) of Masashi Suzuki courtesy of the Cross Gallery for the opening night only.

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