DAISUKE FUKUNAGA

Documenting Senses – From Cats’Eyes, Not Dogs –

installation view from “Documenting Senses – From Cats’Eyes, Not Dogs -” Tomio Koyama Gallery, Tokyo, 2015 ©Daisuke Fukunaga
Blooming at a factory, 2015, oil on canvas, 182.5 x 259.0 cm @Daisuke Fukunaga
Blooming at a factory, 2015, oil on canvas, 182.5 x 259.0 cm @Daisuke Fukunaga

About the works

Objects depicted in Daisuke Fukunaga’s painting are something too ordinary for us to pay attention everyday – places or objects we have forgotten, such as a shabby vacant lot, a dark basement of the construction building without wiring, old cleaning tools like mops, tires, and wastes.  With his “representationalism” approach, these objects seem to throw off its functional meanings attached to them and wriggle like animals, as if they had emotions and personalities.
Personified objects against the dramatic backgrounds in Fukunaga’s paintings evoke strongly and theatrically, emphasized by being depicted on large canvases. The senses of endless depth and presence as materials attract viewers.
Art critic Noi Sawaragi explained the association between Fukunaga’s paintings and the Mono-ha from the 1970’s as follows:

“Fukunaga’s paintings show an unexpected connection to the Mono-ha (School of things). Of course, this does not mean that they belong to the Mono-ha in the original meaning of the term (although there is really no such a thing), but in a quite expanded sense.”  “What I want to point out is that the mop is simply there. It is strange, surprising, and uncanny. To use Heidegger’s phraseology, it reveals the ground of being that underlies the mop as an existing entity. This irregular situation presents an encounter with things that is prior to any discussion of physical things as just they are.” (Noi Sawaragi, From Fried Tofu in a Kitchen to a Used Mop, Daisuke Fukunaga exhibition catalogue, Tomio Koyama Gallery, 2008)
Art critic Midori Matsui also remarked on Fukunaga’s paintings as follows:

“Fukunaga’s painting first attracts the spectators with the physical presence of his objects and their convulsive impression that invites personification, and then makes the spectators think of the difficulty of painting consistently in the world that has lost the teleological scenario. His expression thus inadvertently speaks for the common problem of his contemporary painters, while ensuring his own sincere commitment to the act of painting.” (Midori Matsui,“VOCA 2009” Exhibition Catalogue, The Ueno Royal Museum, 2009)

Fiction and reality dissolve into each other in Fukunaga’s paintings, and there emerge dense and idiosyncratic senses. They are embraced by his paintings, with awe and gaze towards the existence of these objects that Fukunaga describes, “ I do not know why but I’m obsessive to look at”.

Artist’s comment for this exhibition

The exhibition will feature about 10 new paintings. Fukunaga describes new works and the title of this exhibition as follows:
” It is unexplainable but sometimes I see mops on the corner, abandoned tires on roads, wheels displayed in show windows, and motorbike seats high-lightened under the street lights as indescribable sculptures. These objects are sculpted and changed everyday by being used under the various environments of locations, passage of the time, and amounts of light. I capture my astonishment I experience from encountering the traces of these changes, and document the emotions I find there and senses of feelings onto paintings. With eyes of a stray cat wondering aimlessly and staring into something.”
This will be Fukunaga’s fifth solo exhibition at Tomio Koyama Gallery after two years since the last solo exhibition at Tomio Koyama Gallery Kyoto in 2013.

Artist Profile

Daisuke Fukunaga

Objects depicted in Daisuke Fukunaga’s painting are something too ordinary for us to pay attention everyday – places or objects we have forgotten, such as a shabby vacant lot, a dark basement of the construction building without wiring, old cleaning tools like mops, tires, and wastes. With his “representationalism” approach, these objects seem to throw off its functional meanings attached to them and wriggle like animals, as if they had emotions and personalities.
Personified objects against the dramatic backgrounds in Fukunaga’s paintings evoke strongly and theatrically, emphasized by being depicted on large canvases. The senses of endless depth and presence as materials attract viewers.

Fukunaga Daisuke was born in Tokyo, in 1981. He graduated from the oil painting course of Tama Art University in 2004, lives and works in Kanagawa, Japan. He has participated in group shows such as “AFTER THE REALITY 2” curated by Hiromi Yoshii (Daichi Projects, New York, 2008), “VOCA Exhibition 2009” (The Ueno Royal Museum), and “The Way of Painting” (Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery, 2014). Also as a member of the artist group MIHOKANNO, he participated in group exhibitions “Hello MIHOKANNO” (Tokyo Wonder Site Shibuya, Tokyo, 2009) and “GOOD NIGHT MIHOKANNO” (Akibatamabi 21, 3331 Arts Chiyoda, 2011). He won the first Kinutani Koji Award sponsored by the Mainichi Shimbun in 2009. At Tomio Koyama Gallery, Fukunaga has held solo exhibitions in 2006, 2008, 2011, 2013 and 2015.

  • 福永大介「Sky」2015 ©Daisuke Fukunaga
    福永大介「Sky」2015 ©Daisuke Fukunaga
  • installation view from "Documenting Senses - From Cats'Eyes, Not Dogs -" Tomio Koyama Gallery, Tokyo, 2015 ©Daisuke Fukunaga
  • installation view from "Documenting Senses - From Cats'Eyes, Not Dogs -" Tomio Koyama Gallery, Tokyo, 2015 ©Daisuke Fukunaga
  • installation view from "Documenting Senses - From Cats'Eyes, Not Dogs -" Tomio Koyama Gallery, Tokyo, 2015 ©Daisuke Fukunaga
  • installation view from "Documenting Senses - From Cats'Eyes, Not Dogs -" Tomio Koyama Gallery, Tokyo, 2015 ©Daisuke Fukunaga
  • installation view from "Documenting Senses - From Cats'Eyes, Not Dogs -" Tomio Koyama Gallery, Tokyo, 2015 ©Daisuke Fukunaga
  • Blooming at a factory 2015 oil on canvas 182.5 × 259.0 cm @Daisuke Fukunaga
  • Sculpture on a street 2015 oil on canvas 162.0 × 194.0 cm @Daisuke Fukunaga
  • Flexible Containers Bag 2015 oil on canvas 97.0 × 162.0 cm @Daisuke Fukunaga