Wandering Light by Ji-Min Huang & Toshiko Takeuchi

November 13, 2017 10:22 pm Published by

“Wandering Light” is the unusual culmination of an intense communicative collaboration between two very special artists; Dutch-born Ji-Min Huang and Japanese-born Toshiko Takeuchi. Although a good few generations apart, a seemingly cultural and linguistic divide and leading very different lives, the two artists have found mutual understanding in the poetic dance of visual expression.

Wandering Light has resulted in a monochromatic Wonderland of shapes and shades, flowing lines and jagged edges, explosions and whimpers of black and white, dark and light. Both have starkly contrasting results from rather similar approaches which I can only describe as meditative labouriousness – a rather inadequate description I’m afraid. Where Huang’s mostly chalk- and charcoal-drawn pieces organically ebb and flow in blacks and whites and in betweens, Takeuchi’s more sculptural works geometrically oscillate in concentric rings of origami-like hand-folded paper snippets.

Beneath the purely visual explorations of the myriad methods of contrast, Huang and Takeuchi have endowed this largely black & white exposition with an intense emotionality that hints at the drama and pathos that rage underneath the – usually – smooth exterior that each and every one of us prefers to present to the outside world. You can simply feel it; this is not only a labour of love to visually express the verbally inexplicable. It is above all a labourious frenzy of creative expression and artistic production; a decidedly desperate squeezing out of all the creative juices that these two artists can muster. Again, you can just feel it. As Toshiko Takeuchi says:

“A paper story is a living thing and so constantly changes its form … but life is always related to death. I am afraid of what will come; the inevitable and essential part of life. … In the days that I am still alive, I am constantly folding papers and searching for my right to exist. … The title of this exhibition with Ji-Min forces me to pursue vitality, yet I often get lost, ending up in a temporary crisis. A transparent screen is made painful by strong light and confrontational dark light; these concepts contrast yet form a symbiosis. But still I step forward, again, again and again…”

Both Ji-Min Huang and Toshiko Takeuchi achieve staggeringly different works of art, yet the combination is exhilirating; an elegance without losing a fibre of the raw vitality that characterises real labour and true artisanship. Wandering Light brokers the divide between the vitality of light and the melancholy of inevitable darkness.


Tags: ,