The 1st “1_WALL” Graphics Competition Grand Prize Winner
Starting June 7, Guardian Garden will host a solo exhibition of works by Isamu Gakiya, winner of the Grand Prize in the 1st “1_WALL” Graphics Competition held in 2009. The exhibition will showcase works he created over the past year, and a pamphlet prepared for this event will be available for purchase in the gallery.
Creating “second-rate” works depicting a world of lunacy mixed with laughter
Isamu Gakiya draws on the theme of “lunacy and laughter,” taking his inspiration from the horror movies and action films he saw as a child. In his drawings we find an undercurrent of uncontrollable laughter amidst lunacy that, with some deep hidden meaning, stirs our imagination. Gakiya’s works, generated by hand movements made without forethought and brought to completion at whim, span from creations employing colored inks and acrylic paints, to collages incorporating magazine clippings, used envelopes, old invoices, and the like. For his solo showing, Gakiya will fill the gallery in a manner befitting his distorted view of himself: randomly posting a huge number of “second-rate” works that make no pretense of skilled artistry or charismatic slickness.
Born in 1974.
Message from the Artist
I’m not good at putting in words what I see in my mind.
That’s why I draw, for others to see.
But when I look at my finished works, whether drawings or collages,
I myself don’t know what I was aiming for.
Still, as I’m drawing, it’s fun and gives me a good feeling.
Chichi Matsumura, in one of his books, says
as humans it feels good to expel things from our bodies.
I expel the bad things inside me.
For example, when I sleep beyond noon, I feel a vague sense of guilt.
My evil is of an inconsequential level such as that.
On rare occasions when I’ve drawn something really well,
my body quivers and I can’t sleep at night, be it from fatigue or excitement.
At times like that, I take a shower and wash away
the darkness within me that I was unable to completely expel.
Message from One of the Judges
Gakiya’s drawings are “Garbage Pop”: pop art seemingly born from the garbage bin. No matter what he draws, he turns it into pop art – even trash picked out of a trash can. His drawings often contain objects of unknown meaning; speech balloons with their speech erased (Where’s the meaning in that??); colored surfaces of utterly inscrutable meaning (simple failures?) – a human head? a rock? a space alien? (Really, is he incapable of drawing well?). The more he draws, the more his drawings become artistically inscrutable. In most cases, the result would be the creation of unbridgeable gaps with the viewer; but what’s so amazing about Gakiya is that his drawings don’t do that! He creates concoctions skillfully blending his unique sense of balance between pop and inscrutability.
Hiro Sugiyama (art director and artist / ENLIGHTENMENT)
The 1st “1_WALL” Graphics Exhibition
July 6 (Mon) – July 30 (Thu), 2009
Final round of judging: July 9 (Thu), 2009
Isamu Gakiya was selected to receive the Grand Prize by the following panel of judges:
Jun Kosaka (artist)
Kenjiro Sano (art director)
Kazunari Hattori (art director, graphic designer)
Naomi Hirabayashi (art director, graphic designer)
Hiro Sugiyama (art director, artist)