Page 1



M’ONMA: TRANCE PILGRIMAGE Looking for a cohesive narrative in one of M’onma’s drawings is like telling someone about a dream and then realizing that you are losing and changing the thread of the experience as you tell it.... The further you get into the telling, the further you travel from the original memory. It is a lot like a novel or short story by Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami. Murakami allows himself to abandon concepts of rational sequence when he writes. In a way this brings one back to Surrealist concepts of automatic writing and allowing dream to occupy equal ground with temporal realities. One moves through the narrative without necessarily putting the pieces together. Add a healthy dose of Shinto and contemporary spiritual symbolisms and you begin to get an inkling into the dream world of M’onma. M’onma drew all of his life, but was never satisfied with what he made. One day when he was in his twenties, he was in a drawing studio and something happened. He felt his entire body begin to glow to the point he could no longer see what was around him. Something guided his hand. The result was entirely different than anything he had drawn before. It was an overwhelming and life-changing experience. He quit his job and went into the countryside, often in the mountains of Hokkaido, and sometimes to temples where he could draw in solitude. If he needed money he would return to an urban center, get a job, and earn enough so that he could leave again for the mountains. Twenty years passed before what M’onma calls the “entity” visited him again. This time M’onma was ready to acquiesce to whatever was being communicated through his hand. He was channeling something, he wasn’t and still isn’t quite sure what it was. He drew for decades not allowing anyone to see his drawings, not even those who lived near him. Living in the mountains had taught him patience and the solitary space of the artist. M’onma is unreservedly visionary, he is not mainstream, he is not a deliberate part of the canon of the art world. His style emerged as a part of an alternative process of art-making that is closer to a séance than a dialogue with art history. His style is fully developed and mature. He worked in solitude for nearly forty years before agreeing to show his art to the world. This is his second solo exhibition. 1 > M’ONMA

There are layers upon layers of atmospheres inked and drawn into these pictures. One gets so caught up in the figures that it is easy to overlook the consummate skill of their execution - the smooth manipulation of process into a seamless whole. The graphite and ink works are as intricate as the ones done in colored pencil. One cannot help but see that various types of beings populate these enigmatic drawings. There are the ambivalent clown-like figures that float in the foreground yet who project no specific evil; there are the more benevolent Buddhas, or deity-like figures; there are the half-man, half-animal figures and there are humans who seem to be caught up in the dream machinations of the overall vision. M’onma is unique, not only to Japan but internationally. He emerged fully-formed and unexpectedly. Cavin-Morris is thrilled to share his work once again in Trance Pilgrimage.

M’ONMA > 2

Untitled, 1998 Graphite on paper 16.5 x 11 inches 41.9 x 27.9 cm IMo 52 3 > M’ONMA

M’ONMA > 4

Untitled, 2005 Colored pencil on paper 17.4 x 12.6 inches 44.2 x 32 cm IMo 62 5 > M’ONMA

Untitled, 2007 Graphite on paper 13.58 x 6.1 inches 34.5 x 15.5 cm IMo 75 7 > M’ONMA

M’ONMA > 8

Untitled, 2004 Colored pencil on paper 27.56 x 17.6 inches 70 x 44.7 cm IMo 63 9 > M’ONMA

M’ONMA > 10

Untitled, 2001 Graphite on paper 11.61 x 17.32 inches 29.5 x 44 cm IMo 64 M’ONMA > 12

Untitled, 2004 Colored pencil on paper 13.19 x 20.75 inches 33.5 x 52.7 cm IMo 70 13 > M’ONMA

(Opposite Page) Untitled, 2000 Colored pencil on paper 29.72 x 18.7 inches 75.5 x 47.5 cm IMo 68

Untitled, 2004 Ink on paper 14.96 x 10.24 inches 38 x 26 cm IMo 71 M’ONMA > 16

Untitled, 2005 Pastel on paper 13.78 x 18.9 inches 35 x 48 cm IMo 74 M’ONMA > 18

Untitled, 2006 Colored pencil and pastel on paper 22.0625 x 29.75 inches 56 x 75.6 cm IMo 38 19 > M’ONMA

Untitled, 2005 Ink, colored pencil, conte, watercolor on paper 10.83 x 7.68 inches 27.5 x 19.5 cm IMo 78 21 > M’ONMA

Untitled, 2006 Colored pencil on paper 22.44 x 17.72 inches 57 x 45 cm IMo 72 M’ONMA > 22

Untitled, 2005 Ink on paper 5.28 x 3.43 inches 13.4 x 8.7 cm IMo 76 23 > M’ONMA

Untitled, 2002 Graphite on paper 21.26 x 14.96 inches 54 x 38 cm IMo 12 M’ONMA > 24

Untitled, 2000 Colored pencil on paper 17.72 x 7.56 inches 45 x 19.2 cm IMo 2 25 > M’ONMA

M’ONMA > 26

Copyright Š 2016 CAVIN-MORRIS GALLERY Cavin-Morris Gallery 210 Eleventh Ave, Ste. 201 New York, NY 10001 t. 212 226 3768 www.cavinmorris.com Catalogue design: Sam Richardson & Marissa Levien Photography: Jurate Veceraite Introduction contributed by Randall Morris

Profile for Cavin-Morris Gallery

M'onma catalog: TRANCE PILGRIMAGE