Art + Culture

岡﨑乾二郎個展:超ダサくて、面白くない、気取った描き方 Solo show by OKAZAKI Kenjiro: a painterly process which is pretentious, dull and sucks

OKAZAKI Kenjiro 岡﨑乾二郎 @ Takuro Someya Contemporary Art 2016
OKAZAKI Kenjiro 岡﨑乾二郎 @ Takuro Someya Contemporary Art 2016

Recent global art news mentioned the L.A. gallery Blum & Poe, which will newly represent two artists from Japan: YANAGI Yukinori 柳幸典 and OKAZAKI Kenjiro 岡﨑乾二郎.
Same-age Yukinori-kun embodies the classical, cutting-edge artistic practice with an intelligent, subtle execution process, a fascinating recontextualisation of the socio-historical experience in Japan. One of my favourite artists, indeed. Strongly recommending you to stay focused on his next, internationally curated exhibitions!
Whereas I doubt if Mr. Blum & Mr. Poe, who recently dumped MURAKAMI Takashi 村上隆, will get any progressive impetus via Italy-influenced Okazaki’s pitture mezzo-metafisica di cacofonia.
When I visited the exhibition “Kenjiro Okazaki” @ at Takuro Someya Contemporary Art in 2016, the art dealer tried hard to convince me in appreciating Okazaki’s originality. Thank you for your efforts, Someya-san 染谷さん.

Kenjiro Okazaki
10 November – 11 December, 2016
Takuro Someya Contemporary Art
https://tsca.jp/ja/exhibition/kenjiro_okazaki/#works

At that time, I restrained myself from writing a harsh critic on that exhibition, as in February 2015 he had just opened his new gallery in Minami-Azabu, Tokyo.
Now, as 5 years passed and Okazaki switched to Blum & Poe, the circumstances changed and I can put off my velvet gloves regarding Someya-san.

Kenjirō Okazaki
TOPICA PICTUS / La Cienega
July 17 – August 14, 2021
Blum & Poe, Los Angeles
https://www.blumandpoe.com/exhibitions/topica_pictus_la_cienega

Through my practice as a painter and my critical eye, I can hereby state, that Okazaki lacks of an original painterly attitude. An overly pretentious appearance, camouflaged with a breeze of pseudo-literature, which sucks. Déjà-vu, extremely dull, literally a generic derivative decorative crapstraction. If he would proclaim that his art practice is purposely purposeless, I could still show some empathy. However, as he teaches art to a young generation of wanna-be artists and writes books, I was carefully researching his output. Checking several of his texts, which are written amateurishly, I noticed that he is not capable in putting together his topics in a stringent, logical academic way. A fiasco of writing by Okazaki.
Furthermore, the academic in me discovered several wrong historical facts, black holes, narrow perspectives and wrong conjunctions, all fabricated by Okazaki. Because he forcibly eliminated, ignored important literature and art historical names. Obviously, – as they didn’t fit into his “scholarly” conclusions. We often can find this kind of pattern in Japanese semi-academic books.
I may hereby give you one example of Okazaki’s chaotic, self-righteous, pretentious writings. “Abstract Art as Impact – The Concrete Genealogy of Abstract Art”, which nonetheless got him the “Minister of Education Award for Fine Arts” 平成30年度(第69回)芸術選奨文部科学大臣賞(評論等部門)in 2019 (lol).
http://abstract-art-as-impact.org/en-text.html
Sometimes, Okazaki works as a curator and a critic (AICA member), as well. I assume he wants to be defined as a serious artist, contextualised by scholarly, arty writings and sophisticated, arty curatorial practice.
Why is that so? Because he doesn’t have any proper educational background or a diploma in fine arts? Which personally I really don’t care, referring to my manifesto “FREE CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS IN JAPAN!”, announced at the MIZUMA ART GALLERY, Tokyo in 2001, later published in the book “Mario A The Japanese Artist” (Ronsosha, 2004).
Anyway, let’s return to Okazaki’s artistic practice…, why on earth, shouldn’t I see his mediocre works as an uninteresting, overexerted amalgam of Günther Förg, who died near my hometown in 2013, and the sculptural works by Lygia Clark (1920-1988) from Brasil?
As the Japanese audience isn’t familiar with Förg and Clark, we may forgive…
Nevertheless, I wonder what the reception at the Blum & Poe gallery will be.
Let’s finish with a message, coming straight from Los Angeles, to Okazaki:
I Will Not Make Any More Boring Art
I Will Not Make Any More Boring Art
I Will Not Make Any More Boring Art
I Will Not Make Any More Boring Art
I Will Not Make Any More Boring Art.

2021/7/10
Mario A 亜 真里男

OKAZAKI Kenjiro 岡﨑乾二郎 installation view @ Takuro Someya Contemporary Art 2016
OKAZAKI Kenjiro 岡﨑乾二郎 installation view @ Takuro Someya Contemporary Art 2016
OKAZAKI Kenjiro 岡﨑乾二郎
OKAZAKI Kenjiro 岡﨑乾二郎「「誰だ。何をしにきた」。苔むした岩の間にさらさら音を立てる谷川の水はいつも冷たく澄んで、そのまま王の心でした。王が王なのは誰も来ないから。来ないかぎり王は王としてミズナラの洞に座り続ける。何千年も生きたろう巨木が立ち並び、その葉の茂みが空を覆う。足元は絨毯でなく茨や葛ら、朽ち葉や枯れ枝。白い薄明りが道を示し王子をここに連れてきた。「あなたへ伝える」、何を伝えるのか。私が口を開いた途端、あなたはもう王ではない。静かだった森がごうと唸り声をあげる。」Acrylic on canvas, 235×201.5×7cm, 2016
OKAZAKI Kenjiro 岡﨑乾二郎
OKAZAKI Kenjiro 岡﨑乾二郎 「松葉のどの一本も砂浜のどの砂も暗い森のどの霧も草地のどの草も、怒るときがある。泣くときがある。笑うときがある。羽音を唸らせるどの虫も(自らは体温を持たないが)シカ、ワシ、クマの体温が変化するのは分かる。古木が根こそぎ倒れ、松の節だらけの枝の背後で逆さまに滝が落ちるとき、厳寒の冬至の暗い森の中で、樫の巨木に生えたヤドリギが、ただそこだけ異なって、きらきらと新緑の葉を輝かしているとき、陽を照りかえし雪ぎの炎がもえている。」Acrylic on canvas, 210×210×7cm, 2016
OKAZAKI Kenjiro 岡﨑乾二郎作、部分、detail.jpg
OKAZAKI Kenjiro 岡﨑乾二郎作、部分、detail

The following 2 works are one set.

OKAZAKI Kenjiro 岡﨑乾二郎
OKAZAKI Kenjiro 岡﨑乾二郎 「あなたはこの水を乾かし、あるいは飲み干すだろう。けれど決して水は滅びない。水は姿を変え移動しただけである。水は乾くことなく、水がのどの渇きを癒すのだ。と似て、わたしの指一本いや手足を切り落とそうと、わたしは切り落せない。姿を変える勝手気ままが水ではなく、わたし(の赤い水、血)ではない。水の中に水の姿に関わらぬ何か、として水の霊が宿っている(水が弾きだす波と早合点しないように。波は音楽のようにあちこち拡がり増えたり減ったりするが、水の霊は増減せず分割もされない)。わたしは水の中にあり、泳ぎ、まどろみ、そして目覚める。」
Acrylic on canvas, 210×260×7cm, 2016 (part of 2 works, see below)
OKAZAKI Kenjiro 岡﨑乾二郎作、部分、detail
OKAZAKI Kenjiro 岡﨑乾二郎作、部分、detail
OKAZAKI Kenjiro 岡﨑乾二郎作、detail、部分
OKAZAKI Kenjiro 岡﨑乾二郎作、detail、部分
OKAZAKI Kenjiro 岡﨑乾二郎 Broom of empty space : Aufheben acrylic on canvas 2016
OKAZAKI Kenjiro 岡﨑乾二郎「宙空の箒/アウフヘーベン」 Acrylic on canvas 2016 (part of 2 works, see above)
OKAZAKI Kenjiro 岡﨑乾二郎 installation view @ Takuro Someya Contemporary Art
OKAZAKI Kenjiro 岡﨑乾二郎 installation view @ Takuro Someya Contemporary Art
OKAZAKI Kenjiro 岡﨑乾二郎作
OKAZAKI Kenjiro 岡﨑乾二郎作
Work by OKAZAKI Kenjiro 岡﨑乾二郎作
Work by OKAZAKI Kenjiro 岡﨑乾二郎作
Work by OKAZAKI Kenjiro 岡﨑乾二郎
Work by OKAZAKI Kenjiro 岡﨑乾二郎
Takuro Someya Contemporary Art in 2016, Minami-Azabu, Tokyo
Gallery “Takuro Someya Contemporary Art” in 2016, Minami-Azabu, Tokyo (moved later to the “TERRADA Art Complex” in Higashi-Shinagawa, Tokyo)