"Shinboshi (Spiritual Star)"

Gallery Cellar, Tokyo
October 28 [Wed] - November 14 [Sat], 2009 closed on Sundays, Mondays, National Holidays
12:00 - 18:00
Reception October 28 [Wed] 17:00 - 19:00

2009年10月28日 (水) 〜 11月14日 (土) 日/月/祝日 休廊
12:00 〜 18:00
レセプション 10月28日 (水) 17:00 〜 19:00

Text from Matsufuji Koichi “Shinboshi(Spiritual Star)” at Gallery Cellar in 2009

This exhibition brings us back to the beginning of human kind like infants and sends us off on a journey toward the infinite, chaotic time and space, in search beyond the universe of the spiritual pointer that, as a life phenomenon, surpasses the phenomenon. The directivity of Koichi Matsufuji remains the same for this exhibition, which is entitled Shinboshi (Spiritual Star) to signify the North Star that guided sea navigation since ancient times; and it looks like this directivity of his is going to become more radical. After encountering his glass baby at the Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art in 2008, I introduced his work in an article in the Nikkei (November 27, Nagoya evening edition) as follows.
The seven semi-clear frosted-glass babies display individual poses as they sit scattered on the floor and display mounts. There is an air about Koichi Matsufuji’s exhibition, The Brimming Universe that lures the viewer to surrender.
As light shines over the bodies of these babies, you can almost see through the inside of them. They seem to nullify their presence to assimilate with their surroundings, quietly emitting a glow as they respire, as if to spread that glow indomitably. The effect is one that makes the entire exhibition room seem like the interior of a human body, or makes the visitor feel as if he has entered inside these babies.
With various possibilities to face the worlds of these seven sculptures deciphered through their expressions and poses, one can sense the fundamental way of human beings which is sandwiched between being part of any of such worlds and yet not belong to any of them. The bunches of hair that appear like the ears of mammals might be hinting at the equality of humans and animals, while the silver butterflies attached to their skin may indicate the association between humans and the world.
The “Seated baby of chu-cho” who looks up, the “Seated baby of chu-so” that looks down in pensive mode, the “Lying baby of chu-wa” who lies willfully, or the “Seated babies of chu-yu” (set of two babies) who sit as if levitating all incorporate a myriad aspects of connections to the world. One of the central foci is the upward gaze in pensive mode, showing the intersecting of the gaze toward the exterior with the consciousness of the interior; while another central focus is the duality of living organisms on planet Earth that, while submitting to gravity, attempts to break free. These sculptures bring together human movements and consciousness in their primitive form.
As the beginning of human kind is seen through the simple poses of these babies, we can detect in the adult-like fixed gazes and facial expressions the degree of earnest inner self-reflection. There also seems to be a secret in the ingenuity of the combining of child and adult.
From this exhibition one was able to sense directly the necessity of the “spiritual pointer that, as a life phenomenon, surpasses the phenomenon” in order to resolve social anxiety one may feel due to the loss of oneself; it also allowed one to feel that, more than for inheriting traditionally crafting techniques passed down from ancient times, it would be effective for the establishment of the spiritual structure of future generations created through visualization. What might the latest work of the standing baby gazing up at the heavens from mountaintop be telling us?

Hideki Nakamura
Art Critic

2009年 松藤孝一「心星」展のカタログより


美術評論家 中村英樹



© Koichi Matsufuji, All rights reserved