Interview: Makotu Nakagawa | ITSLIQUID

Interview: Makotu Nakagawa

Interviews | March 22, 2019 |

Interview: Makotu NakagawaImage courtesy of Makotu Nakagawa

Interview: Makotu Nakagawa

Luca Curci talks with Makotu Nakagawa at CONTEMPORARY VENICE 2018 and THE BODY LANGUAGE 2019 at THE ROOM Contemporary Art Space.

What comes after death? This age-old question has been the cornerstone for many artists over the years. Makotu Nakagawa approaches the subject with intimacy, clarity and graphic representation, depicting his father and his body through numerous stages of life, death and the spaces inbetween. Makotu was born in a rural town in Japan, when his father was 50 years old. For that reason, he grew up feeling the anxiety that father will die in near future. As he grew older, that anxiety grew. After completing his aesthetics degree at Keio University in Tokyo, he worked in a liquor store and pursued photography in the evenings at Tokyo College of Photography in Yokohama. In order to escape from anxiety of death, he kept taking pictures over ten years. Only his father as a subject. At the beginning he began taking pictures to escape from reality, but after time, it turned into a means to accept and record the raw reality that was in front of him. Even if it is hopeless and cold like an ice. Because, infinite beauty lives in the sight of reality.

Interview: Makotu NakagawaImage courtesy of Makotu Nakagawa

Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Makotu Nakagawa – For me, art is the only way to get to know reality better. My aim is to scoop up “presence”. However, I have never realized it. No, to be precise, I can not know if it has been achieved or not. The moment I think I caught it, it has already faded away constantly.

LC – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
MN – When I was a university student, I saw Diane Arbus’s “Untitled” and was struck by lightning. Then, I bought Nikon’s FM2 and started taking pictures of everyday landscapes, seniors of band, etc. However, it took no time to get to know that my photo is one of a number of similar pictures. I wanted to take something that only I could take, and I aimed for a photographer in earnest. After graduating from university, I pursued photography in the evenings at college of Photography. The most influential experience was made when I took the last portrait of my father (on the top page of my website). It was taken just before he was sent to the crematory. I was crying. Not because I was sad but because the image on the focusing glass was so beautiful. I can not find a suitable word to express that feeling, but it has a very important meaning in that it scoops me up from the oblivion of death.

Interview: Makotu NakagawaImage courtesy of Makotu Nakagawa

LC – Which subject are you working on?
MN – My greatest concern is to listen to “the voice of silence”. It is involved in death and life, mourning and salvation, absence and presence. What I intend in the series “uro no ena” is to present antithesis to general view about those. For example in Japan, it is thought that a spirit continues to live as a part of descendants or great nature after death, and can be connected with living people. The remains will be the medium to contact with the dead. And people will seek salvation in that bond and will restore everydayness while healing sorrow. However, I think that true mourning is realizing the disconnection with the dead, and enduring the extreme of sorrow. Salvation appears in desperate and inconsolable surroundings, and beauty and sublime are living in a cold reality like holding an ice. It is paradoxical, but the absence of salvation is the only salvation. Therefore, I want to not give meaning and interpretation to death, but keep holding it as absolutely meaningless. I keep bending ear to these remains. In order to carry this world after my father passed away.

LC – Where do you find your inspiration?
MN – In the sense that “something breathes life into the work”, I will not be inspired from something to make a work. However, there are so many artists I have been influenced. Jan Groover, Shiryu Morita, Robert Motherwell, Mokkei, Francis Ponge, Lee UFan, Jean Arp, Tohaku Hasegawa, Mark Rothko, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Alberto Giacometti, Robert Ryman, Basho Matsuo, Henri Matisse, and many many more.

Interview: Makotu NakagawaImage courtesy of Makotu Nakagawa

LC – What is the most challenging part about creating your artworks?
MN – As I mentioned earlier, my aim is to scoop up “presence” that constantly going to disappear. I have to throw away creative moods, ideas, internal refining, and even myself. That is more difficult than anything. Although, I do not know if the attempt is successful in my work.

LC – What are you currently working on?
MN – So far, I have been taking pictures of my father only. Next time, I would take other things, -landscape, still life, architecture, people, ruins, etc. However, no matter what picture I take, it will be no different than listening to the “voice of silence”.

LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
MN – Yes, I was very excited. Thank you for this opportunity.

Interview: Makotu NakagawaImage courtesy of Makotu Nakagawa

Interview: Makotu NakagawaImage courtesy of Makotu Nakagawa

Are you an artist, architect, designer? Would you like to be featured on ITSLIQUID platform? Send an e-mail to info@itsliquid.com or fill the form below

RELATED POSTS


CALL FOR ARTISTS: THE BODY…

Calls | December 4, 2019

ITSLIQUID GROUP, in collaboration with Venice Events and Ca' Zanardi, is selecting all interesting photo, painting, video art, installation/sculpture and performance art works to include in the next exhibition THE BODY LANGUAGE - ITSLIQUID International Art Exhibition 2020 that will be held in Venice during the period of Venice Carnival 2020 Read more


GEROLD MILLER – The Monoform…

Art | December 3, 2019

Cassina Projects is pleased to present The Monoform Show, a solo show by Gerold Miller, one of the most internationally recognized German artists of his generation whose work blurs the line between Minimalist and Conceptual art. The exhibition itinerary develops through a retrospective that presents a selection of works from the Monoform series for the first time: from the first one dated 2014 to more recent works. The Monoforms are a series of works which came into being in 2014 with Monoform 1: conceptually and formally, they reveal the maximum material reduction of Gerold Miller's artistic process which draws inspiration from one of his earliest works. Read more


OPENING: ALCHEMIC BODY | FIRE…

Events | November 27, 2019

ITSLIQUID Group, in collaboration with Mercato Metropolitano and YMX Arts, is proud to announce ALCHEMIC BODY | FIRE . AIR . WATER . EARTH 2019 that will be held in London, at THE LINE Contemporary Art Space from December 20, 2019 to January 31, 2020. Read more


RICHARD DEACON: DEEP STATE

Art | November 25, 2019

Richard Deacon presents his eleventh exhibition with Lisson Gallery, showing works incorporating steel, ceramics, clay, bent wood and ink on paper that evoke different senses - from memory and touch, to sight and movement. Read more


Sign up for our Newsletter.

Enter your email to receive our latest updates!