Asa Hiramatsu “Pulsating”

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LOKO Gallery is pleased to present the solo exhibition of Asa Hiramatsu “Pulsating”.



When I begin a new painting, everything seems like an omen
And this helps me find the courage to go back to the source
I follow the endless lifeline down, and feel I can go ever deeper
The landscapes unfolding inside me —
I have the sense that I’m not the only one who can see them

Asa Hiramatsu



Scenes exactly as they are

Hiroshi Homura

The first time I saw Asa Hiramatsu’s paintings, I was taken aback by their distinct sense of presence. Though the things she paints are simple, they seem to suffuse the space around them, so that your gaze is pulled in. I don’t know very much about art, but to me these aren’t still lifes, and they aren’t abstract works either. I couldn’t help asking (though I knew it might be a bit rude):
“What are these? By which I mean, what world am I looking at?”
“I paint the things that exist in my mind.”
A most curious reply. What does it mean for something to exist in someone’s mind? Things in the real world exist, of course. And I can accept that things in dreams exist within those dreams. But when you wake up, they’re gone. For Asa, it seems they don’t disappear. They live on in her mind.
“It’s not a world I can freely walk around and explore, like a city in the real world. So when I happen upon a new landscape, it’s a revelation to me — who knew this was here? — and I discover it as I paint.”
This reminded me of something: Kenji Miyazawa’s famous idea of “mental sketches.” In the introduction to his Spring and Ashura, Miyazawa writes:

In the end all of these are just landscapes in the mind
But it is also true that the scenes recorded here
Are scenes recorded exactly as they are

“Mental sketches, exactly as they are;” “Scenes recorded exactly as they are” — Miyazawa repeats this phrasing to emphasize that these landscapes truly exist.
I was moved by this idea: Asa discovers new scenes, one by one, and she can see them clearly, exactly as they are.
“So by painting, you’re expanding your map of your very own world.”
“Yes. But I wonder, what are these landscapes inside me? Do they pull me further into the map? Or am I the one pushing onward? I can’t say for certain.”
It may be an odd association, but I pictured a space traveler, given the mission of searching for never-before-seen landscapes to add to the map of humankind. I also had the feeling that I would like to visit the world in Asa’s mind. But then, I think that already happened, the moment I first saw her paintings.