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Perspective - Possession – New Works by Naga Tsutsumi


Fri 24 Feb 2017, 11:00am–3:00pm
Sat 25 Feb 2017, 11:00am–3:00pm
Sun 26 Feb 2017, 11:00am–3:00pm
Mon 27 Feb 2017, 11:00am–3:00pm
Tue 28 Feb 2017, 11:00am–3:00pm

Where: Zimmerman Art Gallery, 329 Main Street, Palmerston North

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free

This month Zimmerman is delighted to exhibit new works by Palmerston North artist, Naga Tsutsumi.

The exhibited works continue two distinct series, both begun by the artist last year.

The works in the first series, Perspective, explore the artist’s reflections on the sensory rituals of a pre-digital world. "Do I miss awe and excitement of placing the needle on the turntable, pushing the play button on the cassette player, opening the book and turning pages?”

The works in the second series, Possession, are the product of the artist seeking to set aside adult rationality, to paint intuitively and unselfconsciously, “as children do.”

Naga Tsutsumi: Artist’s Statement

“It was not long ago that music and books became available as digital data.

I use iPod and Kindle every day, because they are accessible and convenient. But these digital devices don’t have the same excitement as turning the very first page of a printed book or placing a needle on a record.

Books, music, photographs… as digitalisation progresses, part of the sensory experience of each book, song and photo is lost. The weight of a book, the smell and texture of its papers, the typeset letters with their specifically selected fonts. The record disc inserted in a paper jacket with its own cover artwork design, the smell of the vinyl, the sound of a needle touching down.

Pushing down the play/rec buttons on a cassette player, using the shutter button on a manual camera, dialling an old phone, or tuning into a radio station by turning the knob... all physical actions that engage our senses to create an “experience".

Reading books and listening to music used to be such precious moments for me. So I feel relieved to see people still reading printed books, or listening to music with analogue players.

I like that painting is still a physical activity, one that has not been replaced by a 0/1 (binary) format or automated system. Painting is an accumulation of human mistakes toward perfection, showing a history of thinking and decision making, frustrations and joys, all at the same time.”

“This series is simply about painting what I want to paint.

It is inspired by my daughter's drawing and my ongoing suspicion about art making.

Children, before receiving art education at school, are pure picture makers without theories and knowledge. Children draw whatever they like. Lines and colours are so bold and decisive. We can't retrieve this natural creativity after losing it (just like boys' soprano).

I try to interact with my daughter as much as possible when she draws. When we collaborate, I observe how she draws and chooses colours, from which I can learn a lot.

Nobody compels me to paint, so I am supposed to be free to paint however I wish. But what I was told by art school professors has become not just a useful foundation, but is also a spell, which keeps me from being a truly free painter.

To cast off this spell, in this series of paintings I have reintroduced candy colours and free spontaneous strokes on the canvas, something I haven’t done for 25 years.

I used to believe the statements of modern masters that "art is a weapon" and "art is not a decoration on the wall".

But I have to conclude, as far as I paint, my paintings are not a weapon - and I am grateful if one of my works is hung in someone's living room, after all.”

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