Darkness Captured By Continuous Observations- Motonori Inagaki

In various medium such as drawing, photography and video art, Motonori Inagaki continuously displayed his method of extracting subtle indication behind things by observing events in his surroundings. In his early period of production and during his college period of 1992 to 1994 in Osaka University of Arts, he sought for his own style of expression and developed a production style of drawing on B4 sized photocopying paper which he continues using up to today. Photocopying papers are easy to get and also reasonable material, so it is easy to work on and its relatively small size enables him to reach his expressions with less obstacles that this method makes it easier to continue simple and intimate style communications. Since then, Inagaki pursues his expression in drawing using lengthwise B4 paper by observing each surrounding event with extremely symbolic expression, cutting off some elements and extracting memorable essence in one situation to get to the core of matters. He also diligently works on photography and video art for his expression.

Inagaki recalls his childhood memory of going for night fishing. Sailed to tetrapod and cast the fishing line. Inagaki was not so interested in fishing, so sailed around on the rubber boat by himself and accidentally went out to the open sea from tetrapod. At that moment he felt wide spreading depth of darkness in front of and bottomless ocean that left him a strong impression. He may have felt dark world or existence of death right next to him through his skin. Since ancient times, darkness and light have appeared as important theme of many tales and mythologies in various cultures and religions. Often darkness and light are used as metaphors of life. Twilight time when day and night are crossing is sometimes being afraid as devil’s time. In Japan, it has been thought as “time to meet devils” or “time for disasters” recognized as “time that we may encounter something mysterious such as Yokai (Japanese monster) or ghost” or “especially ominous time”. Inagaki himself is also afraid of some status changings and feels anxious in twilight and dawn time.

Inagaki perceives that sort of creatures of unknown nature and finds what he is seeing, other half hidden existence beyond what he is seeing, darkness and death and tries to capture them by cutting off unnecessary elements. For instance, he visits the same place many times to observe and captures in photography and video. Through his production process with untiring zeal, each experience was piled to draw a map to reveal a mystery gradually, step by step. Although he uses familiar and daily images, Inagaki’s drawings are raw and somehow gives us disquieting feelings because there are “darkness” and “death” behind them as mentioned earlier. Also because the things expressed are still in transition with indications and still changing the world, not fixed and completed. The word “sequence” nicely describes this sort of Inagaki’s stance for production. In other words, by using various methods, Inagaki expresses and continuously tries to secure a moment when something is changing into an other thing, unstable and amphibolous existence that is not decided to one complete thing yet.

 In Inagaki’s artworks, specific motifs are not drawn. Even if some specific shapes could be seen, it still is something with abstractness. He has this basic attitude for  photography and video arts also, note limited to drawings. Inagaki carefully observes his surrounding situations and tries to secure both what he visually sees and does not see, which consists the other half of the world that is the darkness side. Some mysterious being enters our minds and stay when we think of things invisible- half of the things actually ruling the world could be that sort of invisible dark side, which cannot be explained by words. An attempt to reveal what it is does not explain and still remains as mystery that cannot be completely understood. Inagaki tries to capture this undigested “something” into his body. For example, he tries to capture abstract things such as the meaning of living, dying and world after death and images keeps on expanding like word association game. Just as Inagaki said “Regardless of the material or method, I would like each artwork to have the save weight”, quality of expressions on each artworks can be recognized as the same. What is expressed here is “existence of nonexistence” or “in between nonexistence and existence” therefore his production could be said as a process of capturing “the traces of the dead left the bright daytime world ” which is the darkness.

Akiko Kasuya(Professor of Fine Arts, Kyoto City University of Arts)

稲垣元則 ― 観察の連続、闇を捉える





加須屋明子 Akiko Kasuya(京都市立芸術大学美術学部教授)

Copyright © 2012 Motonori Inagaki All Rights Reserved.