WAITINGROOM (Tokyo) is pleased to announce “Sleeping with me holding in my arms, Silence,” the second solo exhibition by Fumika Tsuchitori at our gallery and her first in three years, from January 28 (Sat) to February 26 (Sun), 2023.
Through her two series of works, “I and You,” which depicts two people, and “a scene,” where elements such as colors and shapes are extracted from landscapes, Tsuchitori has been thinking about the irreplaceability of specific objects, as well as the relationship between people and individuals. This exhibition will be a solo exhibition of new works showing how the “I and You” series has evolved and transitioned in recent years. In this series, two separate entities, “I” and “you,” have been depicted, but in recent years, the two have been melting into each other, causing the line between the two to become blurred. The two figures depicted are not limited to “I” and “you”: they have started taking on the possibility of being “I and I,” or “I and you, onto which I have projected my preconceived image of you,” or even “I and my shadow,” an important element in the history of painting. This exhibition will feature around eight new paintings that represent the current state of Tsuchitori’s “I and You” series, centered on the drawings that triggered this transition.
I and You (overlap), 2022, oil and spray on canvas, 1620×1120mm
About the artist, Fumika Tsuchitori
Born in 1995 in Hyogo, currently lives and works in Kyoto. Graduated from the department of art and craft at Kyoto University of The Arts in 2020. Her recent exhibitions include a solo exhibition “Blind Spot” (2022, COHJU contemporary art, Kyoto), a group exhibition “A painting surface: matière that narrates” (2022, Nihombashi Mistukoshi Honten, Main building 6F, Art Gallery, Tokyo), a group exhibition “天人花展” (2022, Seibu Shibuya Alternative Space, Tokyo), a group exhibition “Neko and Matière” (2021, MtK Contemporary Art, Kyoto), a group exhibition “Kyoto Perspective” (2021, ANB Tokyo, Tokyo), a group exhibition “Kyoto Art for Tomorrow 2021” (2021, The Museum of Kyoto, Kyoto), a solo exhibition “Bones and Skin (light a fire, have to go find the roses)” (2020, WAITINGROOM, Tokyo), a group exhibition “-Inside the Collector’s Vault, vol.1-” (2020, WHAT MUSEUM, Tokyo), a group exhibition “SUBJECT” (2020, ANTEROOM KYOTO, Kyoto), a group exhibition “A-Lab Artist Gate 2020” (2020, A-Lab, Hyogo), and others.
I accept myself = Sleeping with me holding in my arms, Silence
In Fumika Tsuchitori’s “I and You” series of paintings, two closely related figures can be found in an abstracted image. The artist asked each model to pose as if they were embracing or cuddling someone, and then combined the images on canvas. The motifs are not limited to real people, but are often influenced by film, literature, and girls’ manga.
Throughout this series, Tsuchitori has depicted two separate people at an intimate distance. In recent years, however, she says that one of her drawings triggered the idea that what she wanted to depict was not limited to the affection between two people, “I” and “you.” The drawing in question was a small black-and-white one, and it became the inspiration for the series. Looking at the small black-and-white drawing that inspired the work, we can see a face, rotated 90 degrees, floating vaguely in the shadow-like black area. The white area immediately to the left of the face seems to be in contact with the face-like object, but it is difficult to determine whether this is another person, or part of the owner of the visible face. The line between the two is blurred, and the two entities seem to be fused together.
The myth that painting originated with the tracing of the contours of the shadow of a lover departing for battle is often discussed as the origin of painting. This myth, in which the artist left not a likeness, but a shadow traced on the wall as a kind of substitute or alter ego for his absent lover, suggests a profound connection between the motifs of painting, shadows, and the intimate relationship between two people.
Intimate contact with others, such as cuddling or embracing someone, is done through the skin. At her last solo exhibition, “Bones and Skin (light a fire, have to go find the roses),” Tsuchitori used the structure of the canvas as “bone and skin (skeleton and skin),” which has been carried over to this exhibition. She has also started using canvases made of materials that can express an even greater sense of bleeding or blotting, creating a variety of skin-like painted surfaces. The motifs dissolve into each other even more, as if trying to articulate the disquiet and complexity that is certainly present in the relationship between the two. At the same time, Tsuchitori says that she is always conscious of the existence of a clear boundary between herself and the other.
The two persons depicted may not be “I and You,” but “I and I,” or “I and my shadow.” Also, the other person we feel intimate with may well be the “you, onto which I have projected my preconceived image of you,” derived from our own memories and assumptions. Can we accept not only the positive and bright aspects of ourselves and others, but also the multifaceted elements like wounds and shadows? This line of thinking, which continues to deepen as Tsuchitori paints and ponders the notions of intimacy and closeness, are reflected in the works and titles at this exhibition.
This exhibition traces the transitions and shifts in the “I and You” series, which began with a single drawing, allowing viewers a glimpse into the depths of Tsuchitori’s interests and state of mind in a continuous process.
left: I and You（”Am I looking at the lake r am I looking into the eyes?”), 2022, oil and spray on canvas, 910 × 727 mm
right: I and You (“Face, I know at last from whence you came!”), 2022, oil on canvas, 410 × 318 mm