Hiraku Suzuki: Excavating Signs

Constellation #01
h1400 × w1400mm
Silver ink and Chinese ink on Fabriano paper mounted on aluminum

Constellation #07
h101.5 x w138.5cm
Silver ink and Chinese ink on Fabriano paper mounted on aluminum

Drawing exists between pictures and language. In fact, drawing and writing were once one and the same. Long before we began using what we now know as language, the ancients etched the rhythms of the stars into mammoth tusks, onto cave waves, and across the face of ordinary stones. This is how humans invented signs. Letters and language were developed by humans to orient themselves within a world where the unknown is constantly present. And we have managed to survive as a species by using language to better study and relate to our world. But is anyone living today capable of fully grasping new occurrences within our world’s ever-growing expanse of time and space and pointing to the future with only our existing concept of language?

My methodology interprets drawing as an alternative archaeology that corresponds to our world in the present progressive. I begin by first slipping into the world through the ubiquitous cracks that already exist and deconstructing them into dots and lines.

Walking Language
Silver ink on the wall
h600 x w5500cm  (mural)
installation view at Aomori Contemporary Art Center (Aomori, Japan)
photo: Kuniya Oyamada

Take, for example, the wavering shapes of the sunlight as it filters through the trees onto the ground, the chipped white lines in the asphalt, or the curving veins of a leaf. An indecipherable mathematical formula, graffiti, veins bulging through the skin, the outlines of buildings, the topography of a rice terrace in China, the sound of footsteps echoing in an underpass, and an animal’s trail. The grooves on a record, the branches of a tropical plant, an afterimage induced by car headlights, the fictional company logo seen for a fleeting moment on a billboard in the scene of a science-fiction movie, the path of a mosquito flying through space. 

I look at the dots and lines within them. I look at them from forward and behind. I trace them. Use my body. Recompose them. Produce an effect. Repeat. 

In this way, I connect fragments of the deconstructed world and generate new lines, which become the circuit that connects the here and now with the somewhere, some time. Neither pictures nor words can be transmitted in this circuit. Only signs can. I excavate the signs in the ever-changing present moment. My practice is to discover and acquire flickering signs of light in the faraway, in the dark and widening gap between drawing and writing.

GENGA #001 - #1000 (video)
video (28min 11sec [loop]) 

reflector on wooden panel
h263 x w118cm
installation view at Aomori Contemporary Art Center (Aomori, Japan)
photo: Kuniya Oyamada

2011 2013
dimension variable
cutout from museum catalogues, Silver spray paint

Drawing of Time (Mammoth Tasks)
880 x 880 cm
stainless steel
installation view at “NISSAN ART AWARD” BankART Studio NYK (Yokohama, Japan)
photo by Ooki Jingu

Do Dots Dream of Lines
reflector and mixed media
public art piece (Oita, Japan)
photo: Takashi Kubo

GENGA #001 - #1000
Xerox paper on the wall
installation view at “Very Addictive” (2016) atYinchuan Museum of Contemporary Art (Ningxia Prov., China)
photo: Hiraku Suzuki Studio

Language Room
marker on paper and wall
installation view at Jivan Sikshan Mandir Ganjad (Dahanu, India)
photo by Toshinobu Takashima

Live Drawing Performance
21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa (Ishikawa, Japan)
photo by Hiraku Ikeda

Hiraku Suzuki (b. 1978, Japan) obtained MFA at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music in 2008. Currently lives and works in Kanagawa, Japan. Focusing on the act of drawing, Hiraku Suzuki's practice encompasses a large variety of media, including two-dimensional works, installations, murals, video, performance, and sculpture. He is constantly expanding the field of drawing as a method for generating and transforming space and time. He received the grand prize of FID International Drawing Contest in 2017.

Recent solo exhibitions have included those held at ACAC (Aomori/ 2015), Daiwa Foundation (London/ 2013), Wimbledon Space (London/ 2011), Galerie du Jour (Paris/ 2010). Group exhibitions include “Very Addictive” Yinchuan Museum of Contemporary Art (China/ 2016), “Think  Tank Lab Triennale” Wroclaw Architectural Museum Poland/ 2015, "TRAITS d'esprit" Galerie du Jour Agnes b. (Paris/ 2015), “Vancouver Biennale” (Canada/ 2014), “Nissan Art Award” Bank Art  NYK Studio (Kanagawa/ 2013), "Son et Lumière, et sagesse profonde" 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa (Ishikawa/ 2012), "One And Many" Location One (New York/ 2011) and "Roppongi Crossing" Mori Art Museum (Tokyo/ 2010). Publications include GENGA (Kawade Shobo Shinsha and Agnes b.). He has also been taking part in interdisciplinary projects that involve sound, architecture, and fashion such as his collaborations with Agnes b. and COMME des GARÇONS. He has been organizing the platform for alternative drawing research and practice “Drawing Tube” since 2016.

Drawing Tube website: http://drawingtube.org/
Hiraku Suzuki website: http://hirakusuzuki.com


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