Venue: Galerie Isa, Mumbai
Dates: 14 September - 21 October, 2023
Text by: Priyanka R Khanna
Galerie Isa is proud to welcome back Hiroe Saeki, for a debut solo show in Mumbai titled, ‘Divinity, Duality and the Cosmos.’
This series beautifully captures the artist’s rejuvenated sense of awe and happiness, as Saeki revisits her creative origins, completing a full circle in her body of work.
In ‘Liminal Spaces’ (Galerie Isa, September 2022), Saeki’s technique of creating a puddle of water on the screen, the dripping Japanese ink morphing into a random shape, reiterated the motif of negative space; expressing a void containing the past, present and the future. Juxtaposed with figurative drawn elements, the intricate detailing represented the passing of time, with flowers becoming a symbol of life, underlining Saeki’s conviction that the afterlife is part of our present.
Putting together a solo show for Saeki involves creating a story of origin and consequence, intuitively mapping the space, and visualizing the entire narrative. This process allows Saeki to forge ahead, both practically—the end of one drawing leads to the beginning of the next—and theoretically. Saeki’s process mirrors an ongoing internal journey that manifests in her work—the recent death of her father excavating childhood memories; the simultaneous exploration of her philosophy of existence; the continuing quest for answers, for the alchemy of living joyfully, all culminating in a newfound appreciation of the beauty and wonder of nature, time and space.
This exposition requires a change in materiality. Strong French watercolor paper, soaked with water and stretched on wooden panels, gives the works softness but also an interesting dimensionality. This allows Saeki to simultaneously bring in a new spatial awareness and also express the idea of an unseen world; a way to appreciate the presence of a void and to see the beauty in silence. Saeki’s use of ink expresses a greater transparency, a lucidity in thought and action, and at the same time, a definitiveness.
What remains constant in Saeki’s work is a beautiful tension—of planning and spontaneity, of the conscious and unconscious, of the macro and the micro, of the divine and earthly—that only intensifies her purpose. An unraveling of the concept of duality, the cyclical nature of life, of death and rebirth reigns supreme.
The idea of the divine married with ritual and memory is the cornerstone and the motivation for this series. Saeki delves into multiple perspectives to authentically represent not only her own narrative but a larger journey–from the individual to the cosmic