GUEST ARTISTChihiro Kondo
As a Japanese artist living in Belgium, a substantial part of Chihiro Kondo’s oeuvre is devoted to the relationship between man and nature.
Chihiro’s work finds its characteristic building blocks in the same deep-rooted animistic and mystical perception of nature, which is expressed in traditional Japanese religion and the ancestor cult, both of which permeate Japanese actions and thinking stronger than we can imagine. Great love and reverence for nature are translated into anthropomorphic nature spirits, the Kami, who literally ‘spiritualise’ the nature around us and who form the basis of a rich mythology, from which Chihiro’s work abundantly draws and with which she models her own mystical nature experience and creative world. She does this with refined drawing talent and an exceptional painterly imagery.
She likes to mix the everyday with the mysterious, the figurative with the abstract, in order to explore the elusive wisdom of nature and its interaction with mankind while drawing and painting. The way in which she paints a line with graphic force, the fruit of years of practice, and accurately and rapidly leaves the ink on the paper, only to come to a sudden and unexpected halt at a contrasting organ point, arouses our admiration and curiosity in her calligraphic works. In such work, based on the Kanji, ancient but still in use, Chihiro explores the boundaries between abstraction and calligraphy, without abandoning the concept of Kanji as a ‘bearer of -amongst other mystical- meanings’.
The question of how man and nature relate to each other is a burning one. Chihiro believes she will find the answer in the hidden wisdom of folk myths and legends. This drives her art and painting research.
Let us have the intellectual and artistic curiosity and courage to immerse ourselves in her quest and extract the necessary wisdom to discover our own answers