Shinichi Maruyama, Self-Portrait
2006, archival pigment print (edition 3/10), 145 x 110 cm
The Japanese artist Shinichi Maruyama (°1968) is known for his 'Kusho' or 'writing in the sky'-series. As you can see on the picture of his self-portrait: the sublime confrontation of ink and water, before they melt together in one stream of fluid, is captured in a vibrant photograph.
The Kusho-photographs are exemplary for the artists long life interest in calligraphy. As a young student, Maruyama was already fascinated by this medium: writing Chinese characters in sumi ink. He loved the excitement of sitting in front of an empty page, the moment just before the brush touched the paper. The ink seeks its way on the paper. The same happens when it floats through the air, each stroke is unique. It results in a painting in the sky, only visible at the end of the process when a picture is taken.
Maruyama uses a large brush and two buckets, one filled with ink and one filled with water. He swings the brush through his studio space and photographs the milliseconds in which the two liquids clash together. He is able to photographs this process by the use of strobe light technology, capturing processes so fast, we can't even see them with our human eyes. His imagery shows both movement and stillness, creating a space in which the two can work together. Freezing time, to capture the perfect form of liquid motion.
"Maruyama's Kusho can be understood as visual poetry, perhaps a haiku in action; brief, concise and precise in its evocative power."
For more information about the artist, please visit: www.shinichimaruyama.com
Text: Lisa van Gerven