Takashi Ishida

Dates: Mar 31 – Apr 28, 2012
Location: Taka Ishii Gallery (Kiyosumi, Tokyo)
Opening reception: Saturday, March 31, 18:00 – 20:00


Taka Ishii Gallery is pleased to present Takashi Ishida’s first solo exhibition with the gallery, on view from March 31 to April 28. The exhibition will feature new 16mm film works and a stop motion animation video, which was produced by shooting a white wall built in the artist’s studio for the work and painted continuously, over several months. Ishida explains that he thought of Wittgenstein, Zen, and Yosa Buson’s haiku, which begins with an absent bridge, while producing the new works.

This work documents a painting being created on the wall and floor of a room. The documented painting, however, is just one out of many that could have been produced. In this sense, the aggregate of everything that was not documented could just as well be the work. Indeed every time I released the shutter, I felt as though I was simultaneously photographing another line in addition to the one I had just drawn and captured. Perhaps because I was shooting the room from multiple angles, slightly different rooms seemed to branch off into many more different spaces.
When continually considering how one might go outside the room, I remembered what Wittgenstein said about the man who is imprisoned in a room because he does not notice the unlocked door behind him.

Once when we were together he made a striking observation about philosophy; ‘A person caught in a philosophical confusion is like a man in a room who wants to get out but doesn’t know how. He tries the window but it is too high. He tries the chimney but it is too narrow. And if he would only turn around, he would see that the door has been open all the time!’

*Ludwig Wittgenstein: A Memoir, Norman Malcolm, with biographical sketch by G.H. von Wright and Wittgenstein’s letters to Malcolm (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009).

At the same time, I recalled Buson’s haiku about the absent bridge.

Absent bridge, springtime rain — almost dark, and yet today still lingers

Born in 1972, Takashi Ishida is a painter and film artist. He is also Associate Professor at Tama Art University. He received the Most Promising Young Talent Prize of the Goto Commemorative Culture Award in 2007. His recent major exhibitions include “MOT Collection Silent Narrator: On Plural Stories Special Feature: Takashi Ishida” at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo in 2011; “Artist File 2010: The NACT Annual Show of Contemporary Art” at the National Art Center Tokyo in 2010, “Meditations Biennale: Beyond Meditations” at Poznan in Poland, and “Takamatsu Contemporary Art Annual Vol. 01: Another Carnival” at the Takamatsu City Museum of Art in 2010; and “Quest for Vision Vol.2: Ishida Takashi and Genealogy of Abstract Animation” at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography in 2009. His work is also included in the “Contemporary Art from Japan” exhibition on view at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art from March 14 to May 6, 2012.