Shinji Ohmaki’s ‘Waves’


Shinji Ohmaki’s ‘Waves’ at Art Stage

BY: LIAU SHU JUAN

Amidst the bewildering, confusing labyrinth at Art Stage Singapore 2013, and the many works of various complexities, a piece of art stands out purely for its simplicity and evocative gentle motions.

Shinji Ohmaki’s ‘Waves’, a mixed media installation, is a breather and sanctuary amidst the maze, humdrum and crowds at Art Stage Singapore. Its large, white, translucent piece of cloth bobs and skims gently on the floorboard, like waves on the ocean. It is hypnotizing, yet elegant. Viewers find themselves entranced, their eyes fixed to the gentle push-pull motion of the ‘waves’ rolling and tumbling away. There were no sounds which fit the work well as its quietness emanates a sense of peaceful tranquility.

Ohmaki’s work represents a crossing between traditional and contemporary Japanese art. His minimalist work reflects five out of the seven traditional Japanese aesthetic principles of Wabi-Sabi. They are Kanso (simplicity), Shizen (natural and without pretense), Yugen (subtle grace), Datsuzoku (free and unbounded by convention) and Seijaku (tranquility).

The forms of the waves are ever changing as the translucent fabric frees itself to the forces of nature- the unseen fan’s kinetic energy. Everything is so neatly concealed within the large white space. It is a dream that floats and eases the mind. One does not see the fan or even much of the cloth’s tactile quality. The ‘waves’ blow out of the vent in soft, cold, misty swirls and disperse out in rippling undulating motions. They rush towards you in crests and subside as fast as they come as you stand there transfixed, watching and waiting for the next ‘waves’ to come.

Ohmaki’s ‘Waves’ is surprisingly inspired by the urbanized Marina Barrage in Singapore. The river barrage which is flanked by man-made grey reservoirs, pumps and dull corporate buildings, is aesthetically transformed in the hands of the artist, into a contemplative sanctuary.

Ohmaki has mentioned that he would like to make the observer ‘aware of the domains of space and time’. As the cloth rushes towards you in crests and ridges, you see the kinetic energy bellowing beneath it, above it, transfixing you to its movements. Momentarily, you’re made unaware of the passing time as you stare at the rushing and pulling motions, all the while made amazed that it’s just a fan and a piece of cloth.

The artificiality of the white cloth is transformed and baptized as Nature as you forget the going-ons at Art Stage.

It is surreal.

Disclaimer: All views on the site are solely of the author’s and in no way are a representation of any individuals or organisations.

Copyright © 2012 Liau Shu Juan.

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