• Budding Sexuality

    Date posted: February 11, 2009 Author: jolanta
    I am convinced that my earliest memory of the death and funeral of someone close to me left such a strong impression on my psyche that it became the root of my self-consciousness. It gave me an incessant and strong fascination with the physical body that has remained as the basic source of all my creative activities. That fascination clearly manifested itself as conscious creativity along with the self-awakening of puberty. Then it evolved into my sexual sensitivities, serving as a link between life and death, and becoming a dynamic cyclical kinesthetic image. The world that I glimpsed from the viewpoint of that period in my life
    became the subsequent foundation of my world of expression. This, in
    turn, gave rise to an interest in the symbolism, aestheticism, and
    Japonism of late 19th-century art.
    Image

    Takato Yamamoto

    Image
    Takato Yamamoto, Fermentation of a Hermaphrodite, 2008. Acrylic on paper. Courtesy of Uptight Co., Ltd.

    I am convinced that my earliest memory of the death and funeral of someone close to me left such a strong impression on my psyche that it became the root of my self-consciousness. It gave me an incessant and strong fascination with the physical body that has remained as the basic source of all my creative activities. That fascination clearly manifested itself as conscious creativity along with the self-awakening of puberty. Then it evolved into my sexual sensitivities, serving as a link between life and death, and becoming a dynamic cyclical kinesthetic image.

    The world that I glimpsed from the viewpoint of that period in my life became the subsequent foundation of my world of expression. This, in turn, gave rise to an interest in the symbolism, aestheticism, and Japonism of late 19th-century art. I had a sense of sympathy for ukiyo-e woodblock prints, Chinese painting, and Buddhist art, and all of these elements joined together to become the central impetus behind my own style of expression.

    I am attracted to the condition brought about by a mixture of sharply contrasting elements, or their total fusion, or conditions in which the result is neither one nor the other. I am interested in the point in the wave process where it is unclear which direction these elements will go, and their presence and condition when they are on the borderline between two differing conditions. For example, I find myself attracted to such phenomena as the haze of twilight as day turns into night, the interstices between the light and dark when strangely shaped objects stir about, the ambivalent distance between the indoor and outdoor spaces of a window and a verandah, and the erotic landscape of young boys and girls who possess a brilliant beauty in their fragile androgynous flesh.

    This is a different beauty from that of lucid power, and it even borders on appearing decadent, but on the other hand, it is a condition that embodies some sort of inexplicable power. This is a phenomenon in which the exterior world and the interior world, the sacred and the profane, the yin and yang, are strongly fused together as they rotate ad infinitum, in such a manner that its surface transience is compatible with the basic concrete world. I am attracted to the yet undivided beauty of the feminine element in boys and the masculine element in girls that comes to the surface in a very delicate balance. Phenomena that remind me of the melancholy cyclical nature of all things provide a powerful stimulus to my imagination, such as the budding of rebirth in things on the verge of collapse, the splendor embodied in omens of collapse, and the beauty of flesh wounds and death. Along with human death, the awakening to sex is an extremely shocking phenomenon, but the boys and girls that I paint inhabit a world of fantasy that lies somewhat apart from that of the brutality of real sexual love, a world that is entirely a product of my own imagination.

    It is through the imagery of sexual neutrality or the androgynous aspects of the bodies of boys and girls that I strive toward achievement of a symbolic and aesthetic expression. With my endeavors, I contemplate the mutual repetition of the opposing powers of generation and dissection as well as the cosmology of the cyclical world of Buddhism and other Asian religions.

    www.yamamototakato.com

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