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Shinsuke Minegishi’s printmaking practice is grounded in traditional processes and formal compositional explorations. Through lithography, woodcut and wood engraving Minegishi merges rich layers of colour and texture with bold graphic forms and delicately refined engravings of symbolically charged images. His works are amalgamations of representation and abstraction that bring together Eastern and Western imagery and printmaking traditions.
The body of work produced for circles, elements, targets emerged from Minegishi’s research into ancient elemental theories which state that all things are composed of five elements: earth, water, fire, air, and void. The concept of ‘void’ or ‘emptiness’ as one of the elements has roots in Buddhist beliefs and is further elaborated through his repeated use of targets and Mandalas.
Minegishi draws upon the semblance between the hypnotic rings of modern day targets used for shooting practice with Mandalas, traditional Eastern symbolic representations of the cosmos, often structured around concentric circles that are used as tools for meditation and focus. Traditionally the Mandala and target both serve as images that enhance focus, visually and internally. In circles, targets, elements, Minegishi employs these forms to bring us closer to the image and create intense relationships with other visual elements as in the piece “Pieta with Target”.
In the elements suite, Minegishi devotes an individual panel to each of the five elements. Images of various animals and natural forms associated with each element emerge from textured surfaces as unique permutations of matter, refined from their source they are linked to one another yet distinct. Each panel is intersected by portions of larger circular forms that extend beyond the limits of the paper suggesting the interrelatedness of the elements and a continuum of time animating matter and extending through and beyond its visible forms.
While these prints began as symbolic representations of the elements of matter they are also a reflection on the structure of images and vision. They call us to contemplate how the act of looking often transcends its physicality and they implore us to question what it might be we are aiming for when we look.
Shinsuke Minegishi is an artist and educator from Tokyo, Japan. He is currently living and working in Vancouver, Canada. For more than a decade his work has been shown in local, national and international solo, group and adjudicated exhibitions. He has participated in, and been awarded prizes from, numerous juried and invitational exhibitions. He has also created book art and has illustrated, written and designed several publications in Canada and Japan. His prints and books can be found in over 20 public collections throughout the world, including the British Library, University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, Universities of California, and the Burnaby Art Gallery.
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