New aspect hidden in the ‘Beni’ red that is fascinated by Noritaka Tatehana. You can feel from his work a powerful soul-stirring message.
One of the greatest attractions of the exhibition ‘EDO TOKYO RETHINK’ is the collaborations between the contemporary artist Noritaka Tatehana and the companies of the traditional industry. This time, we will present the collaborative art with Isehanhonten, which is the onlybeni shop today. How do we feel and what do we think about these figures that seem to reflect the "present" and the "future"?
Mr.Tatehana focused the “iridescent color”which was considered difficult to appear, and sublimated its color into the exclusive work.
I believe that we have succeeded in presenting “new charms” and “potentialities” to our future by overcoming the historical prejudice.
The mechanism behind the “iridescent color” as the proof of high quality material have not been made clear yet. Mr. Tatehana brilliantly presented its alluring shimmer in this work. “It’s something like a chemical reaction rather than a technical problem, that’s why, the work was to find the best combination betweenbeniand other materials one by one”. He tells behind-the-scenes stories of the production. It was a groundbreaking effort to discover the new possibilities ofbeniand makes us feel other subtleties. When we try to create something new, first we must face up to the “uncertain”. Then, we will have an experience that we can gain only after taking action. Like these works, the results will diverge according to our perspective of the uncertainty of the future: negatively or positively. We felt that the new discoveries made in thebeniin this time represent the strong feelings towards “RETHINK” of Mr. Tatehana.
The motif of thunderstorm, which is essential for Mr. Tatehana’s work, was represented in Beni. The thunders signify ‘barriers’ and the clouds ‘the border between life and death’.
What is the message behind ‘thunders’, ‘clouds’ and beni ?
Since ancient times, red has been considered as a color that symbolize life and had magical and sacred meanings. That’s why, people had faith inbenithat would protect from evil and as prayers for healing several infectious diseases, and also, they painted “Hōsō-e” (spell pictures) using it. The story behind these works represents the Japanese views of life and death. In his all-creative activities, ‘red’ has been used as Mr. Tatehana’s signature and has been defined as ‘a color that represents barriers’. The color red and the colorbeniwhich has several meanings, are just the highlights of these works.
Seeing this work like the strong barriers that defend itself from the imminent border between life and death, I wonder: “Shouldn’t we reconsider our present-day society and the social death that signifies the ‘isolation’ that characterizes people alive today?” The manner of representation is new, but the original charm and value ofbenihave remained even by a modern perspective. I hope that you discover the messages with your sense of values that these works convey.