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REIJIRO KUDO       工藤 礼二郎

I vaguely understood what the Professor S said in my student days, “There is a difference between the flat surface and the flat plate.” But I had no confidence if I could have accurately recognized his words, so I used to flip through the art book by Barnett Newman and others in a hurry.

I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was just trying to convince myself that it couldn’t be a flat plate as it was just an art book assuming of the fine art and the painting. In other words, the works by Newman and others were reflected as flat plates in my eyes.

When I looked at the works by Newman at the museum in Chiba, I had felt the sense that they were covered most of my sight in cadmium red and the colors appeared as just the light in intersecting the room light and the natural light from both sides.  They were not “flat plate”, and it was a moment when I realized that Newman’s words, “The meaning of works come from looking at them not from telling of them.”

I would like to feel again in the same way, but I am so sorry that I am no longer able to look at his work in Japan.


(9. 2022)

There is “Niji-mado”- rainbow window-, one of “Shitaji-mado” which is a small shoji window installed in “Chasitsu”.

A deep eaves of dirt floor blocks the direct light of the sun, then only sky light diffused in the air is reflected in the garden planting etc. and enter through the window.

As a result, various colors are revealed in the shadow projected on the shoji.

I saw it at a sub-temple in Kyoto before. It was the pale fluctuation as if I could recognize the slight change of color in time cut out and in silence.

Looking back, it may have been just the illusion I thought it was.

However, I think that this memory was pointing my painting which I was trying to paint for long time.


(7. 2021)

Baroque painting is generally considered excessive and over-directed arts comparing with the Renaissance; however, I am still fascinated in front of the quiet world of light by Vermeer and La Tour.

That is exactly the treasure of illusion.

On the other hand, the illusion is the extremely impure existence which hinder from facing reality in seeking the purity of abstract painting.

I paint considering that I would like to touch the world invisible through the light existing in the painting minimizing the illusion, but the temptation of illusion with the image is always hiding behind.

I often think of that I don’t need to paint from this point of view, but at the same time it is sure that I am driven by a sense of anxiety to lose sight of everything.

This is “Aporia” facing in front of my creating.

(3. 2021)

In the documentary film by Pieter-Rim de Kroon (Videographer) - “Dutch Light”-, it starts from the suggestion by Joseph Beuys that its natural light with a unique shadow and light which was the source of Dutch paints in 17th century was lost after the reclamation of large parts of the Zuyder Zee in the mid-1950s.

I wonder if the Dutch light surely existed and it was lost.

I am very interested in solving empirically, but in other hand I remember that I had a sense that the line of sight reached far ahead in the dark through the polished lens in the weak light of Holland.

Is it just me not to find rarely the beautiful light in everyday life nowadays in japan?

(10. 2020)

I have ever read the ‘Modern Painting and the Northern Romantic Tradition’ by Robert Rosenblum. I was very interested in his explanation that the mystique and spirituality of German romantic painter represented by Friedrich, etc. was following to Mark Rothko or Barnett Newman. At that time, I was fascinated with the bright metier by early Netherlandish painters in 15 century and thinking how to use their oil painting technique to abstract painting. That was the beginning of my works making at that time. Right now, I use acrylic paint in stead of oil paint, and paint by brush, airbrush and spray gun. But I always wish to meet to the light inside the painting and the sense of immersion or the spirituality.

(11 . 2019)

One of the guide lines of my works since I’ve been facing the abstract paintings is the words by Barnett Newman “ painting should be plasmic not plastics” I am not yet sure what plasmic is, but I am always thinking about that I will be able to get closer to it by seeking anything among the ambivalent, color and light, surface and deep, emptiness and fulfillment, monochrome and polychrome, etc. I am seeking beyond the point is light itself , light itself in the painting.
(03. 2019)

I looked at <Sansuizu>, the landscape painting by Tōhaku HASEGAWA at tatchu (sub-temple) in Kyoto, in my school days.

The moment of turning off the lights after the explanation, I felt that the different world appeared. It was spreading eternally at the end of the dim room in the natural light from the garden.

The light poses the questions in the silent through human’s eyes or paintings.

I would like to paint such a kind of paintings.


Where can I find the difference between the lay and the painting? I often feel in the vain to paint when I recognize the beauty in the surface after putting the white color on the support and grinding it well. On the other hand, it is important how to create its shining and beauty as long as the paint is not only the object. They will be lost when I just repeat to draw intentionally. I believe that it is important that I should be in patient to repeat the painting and grinding under control the drawing till the light appears after combining the white color on the upper and lower layers. I seek the critical point of the color and the light and the world of the transparent white beyond the above actions. There is no way to meet the existence over the object excepting to communicate with the objects. It is necessary for me because I am trying to paint based on my uncertain.

(03 . 2017)

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