Thursday, February 10, 2011

Max Wigram Gallery

Christian Hidaka (previously Ward)
"Waterfall at the Top of the River"

Fig. 1

I first came across Christian Hidaka's work at the John Moore's Painting Prize 2010. I was mesmerised by the way he utilized gesture to fabricate fictitious Japanese landscapes which unite both Eastern and Western traditions within landscape painting. The exhibition space is subtely divided into two; upon entering one is faced with a Japanese screen in which serene and tranquil scene depicted is complimented on either side by two classical Eastern landscapes. [Fig. 1]

Detail of screen upon entry to exhibition

On the other side of the screen, the viewer is saturated by the intoxicating use of his Techni-colour palette fused into dark, mystic landscapes creating an unatural harmony of cacophonies within each painting.

Fig. 2

Most intriguing of the three larger works was 'Glaukos'. Pockets of narration enshrouded by gestural qualities on the surface of the canvas, draw the viewer into the painting, immersing them within this visual vocabulary. Whilst viewing this painting I was reminded of the 'Pin-Ball' effect Glenn Brown referred to in a talk at the RA. [,113,MA.html] He discusses the optical experience when encountering a painting that causes the viewer's point of interest to bounce and reverberate within the painting, never ceasing to provide an interesting and stimulating experience.
2.04 x 3.61 m Oil on canvas