The Window

Murin-An, Kyoto, Japan

Press release

Titled “The Window”, this is Tarik Kiswanson’s first solo exhibition in Japan. The exhibition is in the traditional Meiji period house at Murin-an garden in Kyoto. The exhibition was organized by the French Institute and curated by Jean Marc Prévost.

For several years now vision, birth, coming of age, rootlessness and renewal have been central themes in my work. I have explored them through sculpture, performance, video and writing. I have recently begun to surround myself with images from the natural world. Seeds, birds, moths and chrysalis, all symbols of migration and transformation, have become central motifs in my most recent works.

Oscillating between enigmatic forms reminiscent of the natural world and adopting more realistic and recognizable shape—the drawings are a constellation of images moving between abstraction and figuration. They are part of my ongoing inquiry into the body and its place in the world: its transformation, its dissolution, its absence, its renewal.

As if submerging from opacity into light, the drawings are made by the accumulation of layers of charcoal powder. They are labor intensive: each thin layer of charcoal is applied and rubbed into the paper with brushes as to slowly create multiple densities of light and dark. Some of them depict children lingering at the threshold of visibility, while others appear as blurred, powdery outlines of ovoid spheres or oblong tubes. These organism-worlds and vessel-bodies elude the habitual coordinates of representation. They show themselves, but appear ungraspable.