What I think art can do is give the
gossamer threads of experience some sort of tangible,
I'm an old-fashioned artist. I believe that
an artist fulfils a very important job in society: he is
the consciousness of his time.
David's agenda is interesting. But perhaps
there's a danger that the interpretation of the
work will be limited. That would maybe be one fear - that my work will always be read within
He said, 'I'll give you this much space,'
and he paced out an area. 'And you can do anything
you like. I don't care.' I asked how long I had to give him a proposal. He said two weeks.
I can't just sit around all day waiting for ideas to come to me.
I just sit around all day waiting for ideas to come to me.
I mean, if there is a problem in the
society, don't bother with art. Don't use art for that. It's
not an efficient thing.
For me, the underpinning of art making is
to take advantage of that broader bandwidth: so
much else happens that is beyond explanation, that can come into you directly through your
senses. Much like the way we experience music, where you don't ask for an explanation of
why that note is there, and that note is there. You listen to it, you feel it, and it moves you in
some inexplicable way.
It was a wonderful time. There was a real
desire to paint, and a desire to back it up with ideas.
Everyone was desperate to find out, to look and think. There was no embarrassment.
My parents had this candlestick - this
sounds so stupid - from the nineteenth century. I was
attracted to this candlestick, it was so interesting to me. All of a sudden I realised - form,
furniture, paint, colour, architecture... all these things became interesting.
I want to leave out all elements that are
not absolutely necessary. There is no definition of
time. They are not wearing clothes. They don't have haircuts. They are surrounded by blank paper.
You cannot touch the part in history where
this disaster happened, you cannot feel it. We
are losing the tactile sense. We are much less sensible.
- Chihiro Minato
When I told my dad I got in to college, he
was very proud, and then he was like, 'You should
take engineering.' And I told him, 'Well, I got in for art,' and he was like, 'What? Why,
why would you do that?' And I'm like, 'Because that's what I've been doing for the last four
When I was fourteen, my father died, and I
wanted to prove to my mother that I was good
enough. So I tried very hard to get into college to study art, and it took me eight years. It
wasn't a graceful thing - it was a disgrace.
My position towards the tradition of
painting is very affirmative. I love painting and I love the
old masters. I'm not trying to destroy art history.
I remember being in school assembly, just
sitting on the floor listening, and suddenly being
aware of my own consciousness, realising one day I wouldn't be conscious anymore. I
thought, this is real, this is going to happen.
I felt the need to do certain things and
people said, 'That's art,' and slowly I believed them.
It took ten years.
For a long time I thought I'd like to try
and find a way of approaching painted figures. It
probably took me five years from actually thinking about it, to even finding a way to begin.
Museum of Old and New Art
655 Main Road Berriedale
Hobart Tasmania 7011
+61 (3) 6277 9900
Open 7 days in January
The Museum will be closed on Friday November 14 for a private function.