The Japanese artist Ryo Kiyohara has spent three months in the city of Tartu as an artist in residence and spent the time trying to understand what constitutes the city, what forms it, what is it made of?
“There are many historical buildings in the city, but in my daily life, I am rarely conscious of them. Yet they shape my understanding of the city unconsciously. The city of Tartu is in fact built on memories recorded in the cityscape.”
To explore the connection between the historic architecture and the impressions it is making on the city and its inhabitants today, the artist has chosen a series of historic scenes from the city as the focus of his attention. Some of the images depict contemporary scenes and some depict the past. What makes the display unique is the artist’s personal technique of representing all images as individual pixels – much like on a computer monitor. In this manner, he systematically translates the meaning of the image into the material representing it. This process imitates the process of how the significance of architecture fluctuates between the material heritage and the impression it leaves on our concept of the city.
The works created in Tartu continue Ryo’s tradition of digitizing the past into individually crafted color pixels. In this manner, the artist can attempt to overcome his own subjective impression and try and depict the world around him in an objective manner. Since most of his works deal with the past and often traumatic events, the analogy can also be applied to the meaning of his images. Is there a neutral way to paint the atomic bomb over Ryo’s native city Hiroshima? While Tartu offers no such cataclysmic revelations, Ryo’s paintings do reflect on the fine line between subjective and objective, analog and digital, past and present.
The exhibition will be open from June 30th until July 9th in the Estonian Print & Paper Museum Balcony gallery.
The artists welcomes everyone for the opening on June 30th 17:00