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HIROSHI HARADA The modesty of colour

hiroshi harada The modesty of colour

hiroshi harada The modesty of colour

Texts: Alain Ramette Yasuo Kobayashi Gerard-Georges Lemaire Hiroshi Harada Photography: Frank Croes



For Hiroshi People who lose themselves in something, always have an endearing, somewhat saintly quality. It is this ardour that keeps the spirit alive as a source of strength and inspiration. We can see all your years in your work: from the boy with all his dreams and the man on his quest, to the artist who gingerly exposes his soul. It is clear that you have possessed wisdom and knowledge for many years, characteristics that make you a true and authentic human being. As we watch you at work, while you are being your own unique self in that idiosyncratic way, we recognise a soulmate, a rebel, 'corvo quoque rarior albo’, rarer still than a white crow…. an artist. There is much, so much to say about your work; but why write it down in words since we only need to look to be overwhelmed by the inner power and richness of your paintings. You have the gift to touch each of us. Every single work of yours brings joy to our hearts and invites us to silence and contemplation. Dear Hiroshi, please continue like this and, most of all, don’t ever change. Hang on to that ‘joie de vivre’, your openness to other people, the knack of saying so much with little… but also that boyish quality, those mischievous private jokes, the modest refined smile. Do carry on with painting and remain true to your vision that ‘beauty is to be found in imperfection’. But most important, take care of the soul which, as we know, is born old but grows younger and brighter over the years. Remember, it is never too late to reach for the stars… With gratitude for enriching our lives with beauty.

Luc & Christina De Backker


I FELT EXTREMELY MOVED BY THAT SENSE OF MYSTERY ”When I painted ‘Nature Morte’, the one with the fruit, I was still very young, about 19. I felt extremely moved by that sense of mystery you get from the paintings of Rembrandt and Chardin. I had also taken the decision to be a painter, and I was frightened of that decision. I told myself that I would probably end up going hungry, as others had done, and living a life of poverty. When I began this particular painting, I was in the old kitchen at my parents’ house and these bleak thoughts were going round and round in my head. But then, suddenly, I felt myself being pushed by all the great artists there have ever been. It was as if some goddess of art had positioned herself behind me and was encouraging me to keep going. It was in this rather mystical mood that I made the painting. It was a work from the end of my time at the School of Fine Arts; I was very much influenced by Cézanne in those days. As far as I was concerned, Paul Cézanne was the most significant artist ever to exist. While privately studying the history of art, I had discovered that Cézanne was in fact influenced by the compositions of Chardin, and that Chardin himself was influenced by Nicolas Poussin... I liked their way of composing a painting”.



Nature Morte, 1960, 60 x 72 cm

Etude Nature Morte 2, 1966, 112 x 145 cm


Le Crane du Veau, 1966, 112 x 145 cm



Studio Villemomble/Paris


A workshop full of treasures





�Thirty years ago I used quite a few other materials in my paintings, a bit of sand for example, to give them a certain tactility. Sometimes small pebbles too. As time went on, I expanded this technique. One day while I was going to my studio in Montmartre I saw a house painter setting up some scaffolding on the Rue de Ravignan, where the road goes uphill. Two long, thick ropes were hanging down and touching the pavement. I felt very affected by those ropes. I was looking at them carefully and the painter started interrogating me, asking me why I was staring at his ropes like that. It struck me that there was something magical about those snaking ropes. The man asked if I was an artist. We got talking and he ended up giving me one of the ropes, a length of about twenty metres. From then on, I began working with rope, sticking and attaching it to my


paintings. Later, I began making objects so as to work in three dimensions. Since the 1960s, I had been very fond of a number of American artists who made objects and basreliefs in the American Pop Art style. There were several reasons therefore why I began working in the way that I did. I was disappointed not to have been able to continue with this approach. There were a number of difficulties: you need a great deal of storage space and also from a financial point of view, I simply wasn’t selling enough�.




beyond abstractions

revolutionize this specific area. He wants to bring about a difference, which is a fundamental one. It is not the form which is crucial (even though it is important) but his aesthetic and therefore, existential attitude, which prevails. The thought behind the gesture

There were during the last century, thousand forms of abstractions with a large variety of names: geometric, simultaneous, rayist, cold, lyric, informal, tachist, expressionist, minimalist, hard edge painting. The list would be endless. This, without mentioning the artists on the border of figurative expression. All possibilities seemed to have been exhausted after WW II by the School of Paris, the New York school, the Madi in South America and the spatialism around Lucio Fontana in Milan. It could have been expected that this abundant source of artistic inspiration, which revolutionized the art of painting, had dried out. However, the movement of metamorphism of abstract painting, instead of being exhausted, kept on renewing itself like, by the way, figurative painting which is using more and more the plastic possibilities offered by abstraction. To provide only one example, monochromy (or the concept of monochromy) which appeared a long time ago with Russian suprematism and the constructivism, found in Italy the means to go beyond its own foundation by perverting the surface of the canvas. In France Pierre Soulages had already sketched out with his Outrenoirs which capture the light. One must admit it: abstract art has not said its last word. A fundamental difference Within this context, Hiroshi Harada has chosen a particular approach, which cannot be compared to any movement or trend of our times. Contrary to many of his colleagues, he does not intend to


To start with, he seems to find his historical roots and his references in geometric abstract art. But it would be a hasty and superficial judgment to limit oneself to that. If he likes to organize the surface of his canvases with colored planes and straight lines or curves, I can affirm that the analogy stops there. First, because he does not respect the laws of pure geometry. The lines he draws are not often steady: they do not lay out agreed upon figures, nor do they arrange themselves in accordance with the most rigid and classic principles of the golden rule. He plays with space and tries to give it not only a meaning but also a sensibility. The stroke of his brush is steady but also very sensitive. We share his emotion when he creates such network of signs black or colored. There is in him a spontaneous attitude, controlled maybe, but always present and vibrant. He produces something coming from the ancient masters of Chinese and Japanese painting, which is the thought behind the gesture, which prevails over the gesture itself. He metamorphoses this inheritance. In doing so, he evokes the spirit of Modigliani, who was a great ‘modern without ceasing to think of his illustrious ancestors of the Italian Renaissance’. Then, none of his canvases follows a severe architecture like for instance the friends of Mondrian. Overtime he never ceased to make his research evolve. He could at times use elements coming from geometry. But those elements were used in a layout where he tried hard to introduce a measure of play and a measure of sentimentality.

Surprising combinations Finally, the use of his colors is troublesome. He imagines surprising combinations with acid roses and yellows. In a nutshell, he is not afraid to create trouble in the peaceful world of the harmonies and nevertheless his canvases are not shocking. They do not aim at confrontation or rupture, but more precisely at the nuance of a distance, a gap between what we acknowledge as beautiful, and what we consider the opposite of this beauty. One more time, he likes to be at the breaking point of creation, where everything can topple over. The balance is restored as soon as the eye and the mind familiarize themselves with his work, until they can feel a profound empathy for it. Lines, planes and colours

Impossible to classify? It is obvious. But he did not aspire to take rank among the bizarre and the irregular of the art. He has used with respect the language transmitted by his predecessors and he studied it. Then, he took it to the point where he will surprise us without a glorious feat. Hiroshi Harada is not an adept of the infernal logic nor of the ‘tradition of the new’, nor of the scandal ‘modern’ at any cost. He is modern in his manner to paint, in his manner to be a painter, in his manner to touch us, to overwhelm us with the association of a few taints of his inner repertory with the lines which cross them, overlap them, modify them, qualify or delimit them to generate what a canvas should be really: a place of contemplation inscribable in the contradictions of our world. Gerard-Georges Lemaire Paris, January 2014.

It is not surprising that Hiroshi Harada proclaims his love for Paul Klee. It can surprise at the onset: not very much seems to link him to the Swiss artist. But it is not as a disciple that he suggests this link, but as a creator who has listened his teachings, and who has transposed them in his own microcosm. Klee required himself to escape from the norms of painting, whatever they are. He preferred often drawing or the impression of drawing. In addition he moved constantly from what can be figured to what cannot be figured out, translated into lines, planes and colors beyond the visible. Impossible to classify Harada, while remaining preferably in the abstract area (even though sometimes he introduces an allusion to an element of reality) uses in his work a freedom without limits. His ambiguity derives from there: a mode, after all acceptable in abstract art history, together with a perpetual transgression, even though it may seem imperceptible.



1987 - 114 x 146 cm




1990 114 x 146 cm

1992 - 162 x 130 cm



Abstractions 1991 - 73 x 93 cm 29

1986 - 180 x 180 cm



Beau Jardin, 1990 - 100 x 80 cm

1991 - 114 x 146 cm

1991 - 146 x 114 cm



I have met Hiroshi Harada before I have known his work. With him, it has been like for many others, whom I met when posted abroad, or curator at the Villa Kujoyama in Kyoto. That's the way it is: sometimes, I know the artists better than their work, which is an extraordinary chance, which the magical but still limited reach of Internet does not allow yet, since it reproduces only images even though ‘animated’.  Hiroshi Harada has the appearance of his work. He is slim, alert, and frank. He looks like an ascetic person, inhabited by an intense faith shining through an eagle eye. Hiroshi Harada could have played in a different time and location the role of a Shaman, the go-between for men and spirits of the Nature, this word being understood in its widest acceptation, meaning the universe. One knows the shamanic tradition in Japan and of its continuation in Shinto, with its ongoing proximity with spirits and devils, far away from the conventional image of a Japan obsessed with high technology and modernity.  Hiroshi Harada is a Shaman. He is a guide, a magician, a conveyor. He opens the doors of an abstract universe which he has methodically mapped, with an almost scientific rigor and the

precision of an engineer. He produces outlays more and more simple and precise while his exploration  progresses which lead to a higher level of consciousness. These maps show the way to an elsewhere, and report what can be found, under the form of sensations to be seen. This is as if, with due proportion, a road map could indicate the happiness or the discontent to live in the places which it represents, the scent of the cities, the color of the fields, the remembrance of a promenade. But Hiroshi Harada goes further. He takes us in a vast universe of which he wants us to feel the most subtle nuances, with as little means as he can. It is, without any doubt, his most noticeable quality, which reminds us also of the visual teachings of the Zen masters.  Hiroshi Harada introduces as much malice on his canvasses as he has a sense of humor in real life. He does not disclose the mysteries of the universe without his public trying to reach a certain level of understanding of the world: knowledge must be deserved. Hiroshi Harada takes us to unexplored territories. Let's go!  Alain Ramette  Paris, october 2010


knowledge must be deserved


1996 - 82 x 65 cm

1980 - 114 x 146 cm




Onderschrift, 60 x 72 cm


Les Formes Joyeux/4, 1969 - 130 x 163 cm

The poetic universum of Hiroshi Harada

The story of a Japanese artist, however modern, will always differ entirely from that of any Western counterpart, as Hiroshi Harada’s aesthetic journey clearly demonstrates. Firstly, the artist’s relationship with painting itself is different, even if it results in principles more or less resembling those that are familiar to us. Western and Japanese art are worlds apart and if we are to grasp the essence of Japanese art, we have to try and comprehend its underlying assumptions, a near-impossibility in fact. It involves ideas that cannot be translated into concepts and a way of approaching a work of art that is alien to us. An apprenticeship in any type of artistic expression will be determined by one’s choice of teacher. Even supposing one adopts a radical approach that has little in common with the painting, sculpture or engraving of earlier times, it will still be the approach of a young person with everything to learn from someone with experience. And, what is more, when a student elects a mode of thinking that breaks with tradition, this


mode of thinking is initially shaped from within the chosen dialogue.

The art of living As a young child, Hiroshi Harada already had a strong interest in drawing and in colours. Before he learned to write, he was fond of painting pebbles in different colours, and these coloured pebbles constituted the letters of his internal alphabet. To his child’s way of thinking, each pebble represented a face. From a very early age, he knew that what he wanted to do most in life was to draw, and nothing ever happened to change that. Harada grew up in the country and his relationship with nature has always fed into his visual experience of the world. Plants and animals, peasants and market sellers, fields and mountains... these were his favourite subject matter, from which he created his own private encyclopaedia, much like Hokusai’s manga.

Hiroshi’s father had studied at a Zen Buddhist monastery in Kamakura and did nothing to try and dissuade him from becoming an artist. He told his son the following little story, and it speaks volumes. When asked by his Zen master where the soul was situated, Harada’s father had placed his hand on the left side of his chest, over his heart, to which the monk’s response was: “Take it out and show me it.” Thanks to his Zen training, Harada’s father had breadth of vision that he passed on to his son as an art of living. Takeo Yamaguchi After following the usual route for any child studying in Japan, Harada enrolled - with his father’s approval - at the Musashino School of Art in Tokyo. It was here that he got to know the Japanese-born Korean artist Takeo Yamaguchi (1902-1983) who was to become his mentor. As a young artist, Yamaguchi had developed an interest in Western art and in particular Cubism. He spent the years 1927 to 1931 in Paris and on his return to Japan became a fervent and lifelong proponent of a new type of art, liberated from the constraints of the past. He played an important role within the Nika-kai group. Relatively isolated in a country that had not yet opened its doors to Western art, Yamaguchi was one of the first exponents of abstract art in Japan. After the

war he discovered American abstract expressionism and later minimalism. Under their influence his approach became more radical, leading him to treat the surface of his canvas as a single entity, a flat plane on which to arrange his pictorial effects. In a different vein, Yamaguchi also produced paintings that deployed thick impasto and emphatic brushstrokes. The resulting works combine elements of both formalism and freedom. This was not, to Yamaguchi’s way of thinking, a contradiction in terms. The material, textural and emotive aspects of pictorial art needed to harmonise absolutely with the artist’s predilection for spare abstract expanses and even monochrome. Artistic development To be taught by this dynamic and talented man, so ready to go his own way, opposing the institutions and the ethos of his time, was a revelation for the young Harada, who wished fervently to become his disciple, to follow in his footsteps until such time as he might launch his own career. Harada gained international recognition (particularly in Brazil and the United States) during the 1950s, but in his own country he remained an isolated and little-known figure. He did, however, represent Japan at the Venice Biennale in 1956. While conscientiously applying himself to the figurative arts as part of his training,


Harada knew that the way ahead was already mapped out for him: he was moving towards abstract art and for the remainder of his career that was the path to which he kept. Moreover, the period of American occupation had a positive impact on his artistic development, bringing him into contact with Western trends and enabling him to soak up the influence of artists such as Paul Cézanne, not to speak of contemporary music and literature, which had previously been virtually inaccessible. He was very struck by the work of Paul Klee and Serge Poliakoff. And all these influences distanced him from the received ideas of the Academy and even of the Tokyo art world. Given the indifference, even hostility, with which Takeo Yamaguchi was greeted by the majority of his peers, it was clear to Harada that he would never really flourish in Japan. So, he decided to go to Paris. It was in 1969 that he finally moved there. In Paris, Harada lived the life of a bohemian artist and spent several years working in an atelier in Montmartre, where he made some very good friends. Against all odds While he was in Paris, Harada began to apply himself with passionate commitment to the construction of his own private universe. Idiosyncratic it may have been, but it was also altruistic in aim, since, without


the Other, the artist’s actions are deprived of any meaningfulness. In Harada’s eyes, it was as if he were offering up his internal vision of the cosmos for contemplation and discussion, but without any reference to the macrocosm, to the great expanses of space. The architecture of his paintings was rigorous and has remained rigorous. But this rigour left room nevertheless for sensitivity, for those trembling relationships, complex and subtle, that exist between the planes of colour and the lines that structure the painting. Fundamentally, in a frame of mind that was typical of him, he was continuing to do what Takeo Yamaguchi had begun doing, against all the odds. In France, abstraction was primarily lyrical, tachiste and informal, with a myriad nuances. Geometric abstraction had a limited place, but a place nevertheless. And then a great many foreigners, like the Uruguayan Arden Quin, founder of the MADI group, were responsible for importing a new conception of abstract art, as Soto and Vasarely were doing elsewhere. Harada’s idiosyncratic approach may have set him apart from the majority of his predecessors and contemporaries, but it sat very comfortably within a vast constellation that encompassed not only social realism and narrative art but also action painting and minimalism. He banned himself from the art of the Glorious Thirties!

Conjunction of planes What distinguishes Harada is the emphasis he places on imagining untranslatable forms (that is to say, forms which do not correspond to anything familiar from the world of physical reality or even from the realm of geometry) which serve as architectural elements while simultaneously introducing planes of colour, themselves equally arbitrary and the source of original harmonies. Unlike Yamaguchi, however, he pays little attention to texture. The flat surface of the canvas is his reserved domain and nothing is allowed to interfere with it: Harada’s universe is one that has no physical relief. It is the conjunction of planes, signs and colour combinations that generates movement and provides his pictorial inventions with a certain relief.

He goes beyond modernism and elicits a response that touches us in the depths of our heart Hiroshi Harada succeeds in creating a poetic space in and for itself, while at the same time adhering to a set of strict and precise rules. Piet Mondriaan achieved an effect where the musicality and mathematical development

of a painting’s lines, and the conjunction of primary colours with white, succeeded in producing an intense field of meditation, above all of profound and jubilant, lifeaffirming aestheticism. We find the same spirit in Harada’s work, but without Mondrian’s austerity or his recourse to the golden ratio. Subtle poetry Viewing Harada’s work, we are not confronted with something hermetically sealed. We are not disconcerted by a string of learned references. Nor are we dealing with a baroque montage of more or less critical or hypothetical neologisms. The painting speaks to us. Its supremely sober, but often playful, economy naturally delivers a secret and subtle poetry. All these works should be seen from two complementary perspectives. The first is that of painting as practised today in the West. The second is specifically oriental and requires that we make an effort, that we stop in front of the painting and contemplate it for a moment in order to take powerful sensations from it and, if you will, really penetrate this temple of art, this place of utter enchantment. Faitfull to his ideals Harada is not seeking effects or artifices. Nor does he feel the need to provoke violent


reactions. He works with concentration to make a painting that is both modern and goes beyond modernism and elicits a response that touches us in the depths of our heart. At the same time, he says something different about this art that he has been practising for so many years with consummate skill. He is determined to touch the senses and stir the emotions of all those unknown viewers who may turn out to be either admirers or detractors of his work. He has not modified his philosophy of painting one iota, nor has he stopped developing it for a single day, constantly envisioning other mental figures. His painting always remains faithful to his ideals while assuming new and surprising appearances, and above all daring to aspire, to cast the dice to the furthest limits which he set himself from the outset. He is an artist, consequently, who stakes his all despite the exacting nature of his practice and despite his firmly anchored aesthetic notions. An artist who succeeds, despite all, in being seductive - his painting aims to give pleasure rather than posing difficult questions - without resorting to artistic string-pulling or the machinations that so delight the devotees of what we mistakenly call ‘contemporary art’, where repetition and incongruity are qualities held in the highest esteem. Gerard-Georges Lemaire Milan, May-June 2015


Poliakoff “When I finished at the School of Art in the mid-1960s, I was shown a catalogue of French post-war art by one of my colleagues, who went off to New York afterwards. It included artists like Armand, César, Atlan and Soulages, but it was the work of Serge Poliakoff that really struck a chord with me. I saw him as Europe’s answer to Yamaguchi. A few years later, I decided to go to France. Despite being very shy, I mustered the courage to ask the French embassy in Tokyo for Poliakoff’s address and then wrote to him. Some weeks later, I received a letter back from mister Poliakoff saying that I would be very welcome to visit him. I was very, very touched...

1973 - 65 x 80 cm His wife told me that her husband had left his little catalogue for me. Much later, I met George Fall, who was a big name in publishing and responsible for bringing out Poliakoff’s catalogue. He and I became good friends”. H. Harada

I arrived in Paris at the end of September 1969. A few days later, I was sitting in a café reading the newspaper when I saw that he had just died, at the beginning of October. I was really sad. Some time later, I went to his house. His wife and son were very kind.


La Joie, 1969 - 112 x 145 cm


artists - and i include myself in this - need to be like prometheus in greek mythology

“What am I seeking while creating art? When I am working, sometimes I ask myself this question… Many personal answers could be possible. Nowadays this question often hides this other question: “Is Art no longer sacred anymore.” What should I answer? Yes or no? Everything is subjective. I can feel deeply moved by Bach’s music but also by Elvis Presley, the Beatles and so many others. But for me, the greatest musical creation of the 20th century is ‘le Sacré du Printemps’ by Igor Stravinsky. We have to create something interesting, let’s say meditative, spiritual, erotic, morbid... In front of us we have all the lovely flowers, all the tasty cooking of the world, all the beautiful women, all the criminals... Artists - and I include myself in this - need to be like Prometheus in Greek mythology who teach people to respect each other and to look ahead”. Hiroshi Harada, 2011



Nuage Bleue, 1969 - 145 x 112 cm

Le Petit Déjeuner de Abou Simbel 2010 - 160 x 140 cm



Fuenant, 2014 - 162 x 130 cm 57

 Le Départ, 1969 - 112 x 145 cm


2004 - 105 x 85 cm


1987 - 180 x 180 cm

Hommage à a BHAWAN, 2013 - 150 x 150 cm


“Every summer when I start making things, it’s incredibly enjoyable”



”I’m pleased that the photo of my equipment all neatly organised made you laugh! Mamma Mia! Hallelujah! One thing’s for sure, when I work, things aren’t that well organised. I just wanted to show you the whole lot! Hereby some other shots of me working, taken by my daughter Ayana. As far as my technique’s concerned, I work with oil paint. I use a very limited colour palette. My work is often monochrome, yellow for light, black for the framework or the structural elements. The drawing is the primary thing. I start by doing a design on paper. Then I draw the lines on the canvas and it becomes a kind of palette, I work directly on this. When I mix paints, I do it on the canvas itself. I put some petrol and a little linseed oil in a big bowl and I work like a cook. A good cook!”




1983 - 90 x 130 cm

La Fontaine 2008 - 230 x 192 cm




1998 - 192 x 230 cm



1983 - 90 x 116 cm



2014 - 145 x 114 cm


Conversation silencieuse, 1969 - 112 x 145 cm


Face à Face, 2013 - 162 x 130 cm


“I love oceans and deserts, big cosmic landscapes�.


Ecole des Poulpes, 1969 - 163 x 130 cm




Internal Quadrilaterals - Regarding Hiroshi Harada’s pictorial quest It is already forty years since Hiroshi Harada left Japan and his master, Takeo Yamaguchi, to come and live in Paris and pursue a course which, though it may seem utterly delightful as regards his personal life, is nonetheless rigorous and uncompromising in terms of his pictorial research. How should we define the latter? The human mind fashions the world. There are different ways of putting this structure in place, but in the visual dimension the quadrilateral invariably serves as a base. Quadrilaterals do not exist in nature. Painting, which is capable of representing the world in all its aspects within the confines of a rectangular frame, is in this respect the most immediate and most original point of access to the human mind. Hiroshi Harada does not represent the world by utilizing the immediacy of painting but directly questions the very dynamism of the representation. Moreover - and it is this precisely that characterizes his work - these internal quadrilaterals reveal themselves to be nothing other than the joy of life itself.

This is why Hiroshi Harada’s painting never attempts to reduce the world to an ultimate abstraction. The artist seeks instead, through this abstractivity, to find the pulsing source of the world’s joy. There is a kind of purity in this, the rhythm of life in its first innocence, unsullied as yet by form. And yet the world of Hiroshi Harada’s painting was originally monochromatic. One day - I find it hard to say precisely when - colour burst in upon this black and white world. Yellow, for instance. In a flash, this brilliant burst of colour demonstrated that Harada’s painting was essentially nothing less than a quest for inner happiness. I felt transported: from now on a world of music flowed from his paintings. Yes, ultimately, mental rigour and the joy of life meet and are conjoined. Hiroshi Harada’s painting is a channel leading us towards this world where differences are reconciled. Yasuo Kobayashi


Hommage Ă Claude Debussy, 2012 - 160 x 130 cm 87

Un Homme, 1999 - 163 x 128 cm


Aller et Retour, 2005 - 130 x 160 cm

2008 - 61 x 50 cm 2001 - 65 x 50 cm 91

Backker, 2011 - 92 x 73 cm



Deux Bouches, 2005 - 115 x 145 cm


l’Espoir 2009 - 160 x 130 cm

Profontiers 2011 - 116 x 89 cm 96


Jardin de Zen, 2013 - 150 x 150 cm


Biwa, 2012 - 120 x 120 cm



Soudain, 2013 - 150 x 150 cm


Centre, 2013 - 150 x 150 cm


l’Entrée de la Pensée, 2012 - 162 x 130 cm



Tsunami, 2012 - 200 x 130 cm

“A major French artist once said that it is the artist’s job to show and make actual whatever is important and invisible”.


Grenade Transparante 2005 - 150 x 160 cm

Force Centripète, 2015 - 130 x 97 cm


Le Passage, 2008 - 230 x 192 cm


Un sur Quatre, 2014 - 73 x 60 cm


Grande Butte, 2014 - 163 x 130 cm


Hommage à Takeo Yamaguchi 2014 - 130 x 85 cm


Absolu, 2015 - 162 x 131 cm



Bourgeon, 2015 - 97 x 130 cm

Stoneheinge, 2013 - 162 x 131 cm


Packman, 2013 - 200 x 200 cm


1986 Centre d’Art Contemporain, Châlon sur Saône Centre d’Art Actuel La Cuvée, Lyon Collective exhibition

1942 Born in Saitama Ken, Japan.

Jiyugaoka Gallery, Tokyo, Japan Solo exhibition

1966 Graduated from the Musashino School of Art, Tokyo. Studied under Takeo Yamaguchi.

1987 Espace Bateau Lavoir, Paris Espace 31, Issy les Moulineaux: ‘Quatre artistes Japanais’ (Four Japanese artists) Performance

1969 Arrived in Paris. 1971 French Government grant holders exhibition (Vincennes) Collective exhibition

1988 Centre d’Art Actuel La Cuvée, Lyon Collective exhibition

Exhibition of works by foreign artists (F.I.A.P.) Collective exhibition 1972- Symposium de l’Estampe (Print Symposium), 1979 Galerie du Haut Pavé, Paris Collective exhibition

Espace Bateau Lavoir, Paris Galerie Plan de Travail, Paris


1989 Galerie Jacques Barrère, Paris

Solo exhibition Solo exhibition

Galerie Zen, Brussels 1975 ‘Seize artistes contemporains’ (Sixteen contemporary artists), Dieppe, Nîmes, Saint-Ouen, Corbeil Collective exhibition

1991 Galerie 16, François Tapie, Paris Collective exhibition

1977 International Print Biennale, Cannes Collective exhibition

1994 Galerie Satellite, Paris: ‘De l’amour’ (About love) Collective exhibition

1978 Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris Collective exhibition

1996 Galerie Nishihashi, Osaka, Japan: ‘Three artists: Sugai, Harada, Utsumiya’ Collective exhibition

Head Art Gallery, Saitama, Japan Collective exhibition Koh Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

Espace Bateau Lavoir, Paris: ‘Objets subjectifs’ (Subjective objects) Collective exhibition

Solo exhibition

1980 ‘Four Paris Artists’, Varna, Bulgaria Collective exhibition

1998 Art Dune Gallery, Hamamatsu, Japan Solo exhibition

1981 Varna Biennale, Bulgaria 1982 Jiyugaoka Gallery, Tokyo, Japan Solo exhibition

Nishihashi Gallery, Osaka, Japan Solo exhibition Christies, London, Great Britain: ‘Asian Avant-Garde’ Collective exhibition

1983 Varna Biennale, Bulgaria Valparaiso Biennale, Chile 1984 Galerie Chapon, Bordeaux Galerie Armonie, Paris

Solo exhibition

Galerie Bell, Oita, Japan

Solo exhibition

1999 Bourgueil: ‘Orient Extrême’ Collective exhibition

1985 Espace Bateau Lavoir, Paris Centre d’Art Actuel La Cuvée, Lyon Collective exhibition

Galerie White Elephant, Paris Solo exhibition


Art Dune Gallery, Hamamatsu, Japan: ‘Large Formats’ Collective exhibition

Salon des Réalités Nouvelles, Paris Collective exhibition

Joué les Tours: ‘Tendances’ (Tendencies) Collective exhibition

2006 Centre Culturel, Saint-Mandé: ‘Artistes et Collectionneurs’ (Artists and collectors) Collective exhibition

2001 Galerie White Elephant, Paris: ‘O + X’ Collective exhibition

Marino Marini Museum, Florence, Italy: ‘Six Japanese Artists’ Collective exhibition

Eragny sur Oise: ‘L’écume du regard’ (The ‘froth of vision’) Collective exhibition

Galerie White Elephant, Paris: ‘Les inventions du diable’ (The devil’s inventions) Collective exhibition

Art Dune Gallery, Hamamatsu, Japan Solo exhibition Seijo Gallery, Sensaï, Japan

Galerie White Elephant, Paris: ‘Ligne après la ligne’ (Line by line) Collective exhibition

Solo exhibition

Yagihashi Department Store, Kumagaya, Japan Solo exhibition

Galerie Akie Arichi, Paris: ‘Purement Géométrique’ (Purely geometric) Collective exhibition

2002 Galerie K at the White Elephant, Paris: ‘Carte blanche à Michelle Yoyotte’ (Carte blanche for Michelle Yoyotte) by Emmanuel Carlebach Collective exhibition

2007 Art Dune Gallery, Hamamatsu, Japan Solo exhibition Olive Eye Gallery, Tokyo, Japan Solo exhibition

Air France Industries, Orly Nord: ‘Art contemporain Japanais’ (Contemporary Japanese art) Solo exhibition 2003 Galerie White Elephant, Paris

Gendaikko Museum, Miyazaki, Japan Solo exhibition

Solo exhibition

Les Moulins de Villancourt, Grenoble: ‘Territoires abstraits’ (Abstract territories) Collective exhibition

Museum of Contemporary Art, Calasetta, Sardinia, Italy Solo exhibition Galerie White Elephant, Paris: ‘Objets, boîtes, mobiles’ (Objects, boxes, mobiles) Collective exhibition

Château de Tours: ‘L’abstraction géométrique aux réalités nouvelles’ (From geometric abstraction to the new realities) Collective exhibition

2004 Art Dune Gallery, Hamamatsu, Japan Solo exhibition

La Galerie: ‘Les inventions du diable’ (The devil’s inventions) Collective exhibition

Gallery Kazé, Osaka, Japan Solo exhibition Salon des Réalités Nouvelles, Paris Collective exhibition

Contemporary Art Fair, Tokyo, Japan Collective exhibition 2008 Galerie Grand E’Terna, Paris: ‘Ouverture de l’année 2008’ (2008 opening) Collective exhibition

2005 Galerie White Elephant, Paris: ‘Une poétique de la raison’ (A poetic of reason) Collective exhibition

Art Dune Gallery, Hamamatsu, Japan: ‘The artists of Réalités Nouvelles’ Collective exhibition 2009 Galerie Concret, Paris: ‘Pour faire simple’ (Putting it simply) Collective exhibition

Departmental Museum, Miyazaki, Japan Collective exhibition Gendaikko Museum, Miyazaki, Japan Collective exhibition


Galerie Akie Arichi, Paris, 20th Birthday Celebrations Collective exhibition

Galerie du Haut Pavé, Paris: ‘Soixantième anniversaire de la Galerie du Haut Pavé’ (Galerie du Haut Pavé’s sixtieth birthday) Collective exhibition

Galerie De Vierde Dimensie, Plasmolen, Netherlands: ‘Japan Frans Nederlandse’ Collective exhibition

Galerie Grand E’Terna, Paris: ‘Le noir absolu’ (total blackness) by G.G. Lemaire Collective exhibition

Galerie Grand E’Terna, Paris: ‘Tokyo Paris, 40 ans’ (Tokyo - Paris, 40 years) Solo exhibition

Galerie De Vierde Dimensie, Plasmolen, Netherlands: ‘Overzicht I’ Collective exhibition

Lauréat n° 29865 of the Foundation Mondrian Solo exhibition

Galerie Akie Arichi, Paris: ‘Hommage à Sacher-Masoch et antidote’ (Homage to Sacher-Masoch and antidote) Collective exhibition

2010 PAN Amsterdam Art and Antiques Fair, Galerie De Vierde Dimensie, Plasmolen, Netherlands Galerie Alexandre Allegro, St Ouen: ‘Créations nouvelles’ (New creations) Solo exhibition

2014 Galerie Grand E’Terna, Paris: ‘Au-delà des Abstractions’ (Beyond abstractions) Solo exhibition

2011 Galerie Grand E’Terna, Paris: ‘Objets et Sculptures’ (Objects and sculptures) Collective exhibition

OSAKA (Japan) Contemporary Art Fair, Galerie Bruno Massa, Paris Collective exhibition

Galerie Bij de Boeken, Ulft, Netherlands Collective exhibition

Réalités Nouvelles Paris / Peking, China Collective exhibition

Galerie Grand E’Terna, Paris: ‘Ouverture de l’année 2011’ (2011 opening) Collective exhibition

PAN Amsterdam Art and Antiques Fair, Art@Life, Belgium Solo exhibition Galerie Grand E’Terna, Paris: ‘L’Abstraction et la Figuration’ (Abstract and figurative art) Collective exhibition

Drouot Montaigne, Paris: ‘Solidarité TOME seîsme - tsunami’ (Tomé earthquake - tsunami solidarity) Auction Factory 49, Sydney, Australia

2015 Espace Christiane Peugeot, Paris ‘Carrément 2’ (Strictly 2) Collective exhibition

Solo exhibition

2012 Galerie Grand E’Terna, Paris: ‘Ouverture de l’année 2012’ (2012 opening), artists from the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles Collective exhibition

Salon des Réalités Nouvelles, Paris Collective exhibition Gallery Factory 49 , Sydney/ Australia Collective exhibition

Galerie De Vierde Dimensie, Plasmolen, Netherlands: ‘Groepsexpositie kleine werken’ Collective exhibition

Galerie Grand E'Terna, Paris 'Abstraction et Figuration' Collective exhibition

2013 Galerie Grand E’Terna, Paris: ‘Abstraction Contemporaine’ (Contemporary abstraction) Collective exhibition Jarfo Gallery, Kyoto, Japan

Solo exhibition



Photos: FRANK CROES & Ayana Harada (p. 65-67) Luc De Backker (p. 4, 10-18, 37, 110, 111, 127) Photoshoot: Hoogstraten, Rijkevorsel, Veurne/Belgium Cap Gris Nez, Wissant, Cap Blanc Nez/France Editor: CHRISTINE MARTENS Lay-out: C.M. PRODUKTIE - JAN CROES Contact: ART@LIFE Grote Plaats 31 2323 Hoogstraten Belgium Publisher: ISBN 978-90-5856-538-9

D/2015/6407/29 NUR: 642 - 646 All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a database or retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means, electronically, mechanically, by print, microfilm or otherwise without prior permission in writing of the Publisher.

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