painting

The present painting series of Okazaki dates back to 1992. The colors on the plane that scatter at random seem as though they just happen to be stationary, clinging to the raw canvas only for a moment. Nevertheless the various color qualities, the gluey amberlike transparent mass, the mat opaque quality and the ground coat which is actually covered by a transparent acryl, are all created by adjusting the acryl medium.

Their contingent look also derives from the complex and compound state that the touches on the plane show. The movements that they display are by no means equal. A pouring on the horizontally laid canvas, edges imposed by brushes or knives, shapes cut out of mold... multiple groups of touches that abruptly change their direction and scale thus coexist on the plane as if containing each other.Therefore, the plane cannot be reduced to a single gesture nor to a physical force, being far from the all-over uniformity of the so called "modernist.” But it is neither a simple disorder, and by staring it for a while one becomes aware of the rigorous, so to speak, mathematical correspondence set up between the touches.

The crossing of contingency and necessity. The relation referred to here is not to abstract expressionism, but rather to Cézanne or Fauvism. The sudden modulation of color, touch and scale often seen in paintings of Cézanne, are a display of the regulation imposed by the represented objects. The effect of demands or interferences from models assumed externally, appear as sudden modulations on the plane. It is the very objects that guide the gaze and force the various appearance, each one disparate from the others, to be pierced into one, working as a kind of regulative principle that makes the complex organization of the plane possible.

It is not that Okazaki's pieces have objects to represent. They are not so-called figurative paintings and the function that color had played in a Fauvism painting is reconstructed here as a structure found in music, architecture or language. If, in the case of Cézanne, the objects were actually produced by the modulation of touches or colors, this is also the characteristic of a structure common to music and linguistic expression. What is discovered upon Okazaki's plane are various "counterpoints.” Not only the contour, but also the density and even the movement are transcribed through the same touches. A touch with its colors modulated, scales altered, and turned upside-down, goes back and forth freely and is repeated between one or two planes.

A touch is not located upon a singular fixed plane. Colors shown by touches imply a virtual plane every time but immediately raise a different one by combining with other colors. For example, a touch that is on the left plane is sometimes felt as on the right. Thus by turning our gaze in succession, multiple virtual planes occur switching one after another just as a polyphony, colors brimming with heaped up or pressed up materiality. But it can be said that what is thoroughly lacking in these countless possible planes is rather the very plane as a physical existence. What occurs is therefore an event created by the vision, a sequence as a chain of events.

The paintings of Okazaki often bear oddly long sentences for its title, with such complexity comparable to the picture plane. For example, the title of a diptych piece corresponds to a pair of sentences of the same length, in which words and sentences are repeated modulating its diction, gender, tense and so on. In this way, words weakened in their referential function are connected one after another, forming sentences even with a narrative, bringing to light an accumulated spatial order. Whereas titles of singular nouns, or "untitled" often converges the plane into a single representation, Okazaki's title sentences once detaches the two series of representation that are painting and language. Nevertheless, different paradigms of the plane and the title meet unexpectedly. This encounter, made possible by the complex structure of the title, designates the event that occurs to the plane and the title.

Text : Yoshiharu Ishioka