In a tribute to the beauty and unpredictability of the art of ink painting, New York based Japanese artist Shinichi Maruyama (b. 1968) developed KUSHO, a series of photographs of momentary collisions between ink and water in mid-air named for a Japanese term for “writing in the sky.” This series freezes the microsecond in which the two liquids approach and intersect with each other. The images produced are documentary and scientific, as well as beautiful abstract compositions in black, white, and gray.
“Not knowing what you are going to get impresses me strongly,” Maruyama observes of the KUSHO pictures. “We do not know what we have until we look at the actual photograph. If these images are fundamentally graphic, even painterly, they are also a meditation on the material properties of photography. In its spatial illusionism and meticulous detail, the photograph inevitably points to a world outside of itself, a world of visual forms and sensations, always reminding us of its origin in it.”
In this series, the underlying subject is the principle of energetic interaction between forms.
In this series, the underlying subject is the principle of energetic interaction between forms. It is no wonder, then, that KUSHO became the basis of collaboration between Maruyama and Jessica Lang Dance, a New York based dance company. In their repertory piece entitled i.n.k., Jessica Lang Dance incorporates KUSHO video projections with the dancers’ movements. As the first of many collaborations between the Crow Collection of Asian Art and TITAS, the museum is showcasing photographs from Maruyama’s KUSHO series in concert with Jessica Lang Dance’s September 14 performances at the Winspear Opera House. It is this kind of trans-mediatic interplay that invites thorough investigation of artistic subjects, and this kind of collaboration among arts organizations that celebrates their moments of brilliant collision.