Ken Matsubara, Chaos (detail), 2021, 12-panel screen, natural pigments and minerals on washi paper
Chaos to Cosmos: White Road between Two Rivers, Exhibition by Ken Matsubara, Ippodo Gallery
March 10-April 14, 2022
Opening reception: March 16, 5-8pm
A retrospective of artist Ken Matsubara's (born 1948, Kamiimachi, Toyama prefecture) works thus far. The echo of the wind, the sound of water, a full moon floating in a mysterious blue sky, the cries of wild beasts that agitate the ripples of the lake…Ken Matsubara’s works present a view of the universe that is magnificent beyond description. For him, the act of drawing is to resonate with nature itself.
Chaos is Matsubara’s interpretation of a Buddhist painting entitled Niga Byakudō-zu [White Path to Paradise between Two Rivers of Worldly Vice], that he first saw at Zendōji temple in Gifu Prefecture when he was nine years old, and which had remained firmly etched upon his memory. In order to find the white road, it is necessary to possess a pure heart and cast aside the sediment of life that has built up inside one’s soul, otherwise it will be impossible to pass along this narrow white road that runs between the river of water, (attachments and greed) and the river of fire (anger and hatred). It was with this in mind that he confronted the twelve panels that comprise this work, a masterpiece through which he prayed for tranquility and purged himself of all the chaos that had accumulated within him. Like Picasso’s Guernica, it presents a tempestuous maelstrom of emotions and raging flames, but in between these, an indistinct, cloud-like, pure, white road emerges.
Ken Matsubara, Chaos, 2021, 12-panel screen, natural pigments and minerals on washi paper,
433 x 70.86 in. (1100 x 180 cm.)
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