KOYAMA

Shigeyoshi Koyama was born in Osaka (Japan) in 1940. Twenty two years later he moves on to Tokyo, and shortly afterwards, he begins his artistic trajectory as a painter. In 1970 he goes to Paris for the first time, where he spends six months; from Paris he travels to Cadaqués, where he will remain until the end of 1982. During this period he exhibits for the first time in Tokyo. A few years later, he goes back to Cadaqués, and in 1986, he finally settles down there. Ever since he arrived, he has been deeply involved with that beautiful town of the Empordà.

Light, as the revealing hand of whatever we can see, seems to stir the artist. Light that can be found in his works, precisely painted in the Mediterranean and Southern Europe, places that he seems to have chosen for good.

Yet, Koyama, in his own conception of the pictorial space reflects his oriental tradition: he does not analyze the perspective as per the renaissance canons, but he develops the subject from the plane determination. This is why, in his works we find a different way to determine reality: not as the eye sees it, but as knowledge and sensibility interpret it.

He indistinctly uses oil and water colour techniques. His palette prefers blues and greys tones, but he does not forget greens and reds, whites and oranges, that he chooses depending on the hour and the season. Art critic Frances Galí wrote: to create a painting –inseparable from the design– he uses a chromatic display arising from a simple and wise combination of coloured blots (...) that emphasize and differentiate the calligraphies (...) complementing the plastic descriptions he puts forth.

Koyama keeps on being what originally he always was: a painter that, beginning with concrete references, creates atmosphere, worlds, ageless universes, which he can place in Cadaqués, but also in Barcelona, Paris, La Mancha, Albarracín, Sicily... And, it is this real and imaginary artist, oriental and occidental, figurative and abstract, at the same time, the author of what some critics have already called the Koyama style, which is another way, neat and consequent, to see the world.



THE COLLECTIVE SENSE OF KOYAMA'S WORK by Josep M. Cadena (reporter and art critic)

The Cadaqués Koyama paints is personal. So is his vision of Sicily, which he also submits to us in this exhibition. And similarly –perhaps, even identically – we might speak of his works dedicated to several Spanish and European locations which he has visited and where he has resided for a while. But, at the same time, in everything else where he may feel an artistic appeal for, we can find a participatory feeling where, those of us who consider art as an instrument to express our best human qualities, find ourselves very much at ease.

Because Shigeyoshi Koyama, born in Osaka in 1940, is a plastic maker with a universal emotional strength as far as feelings are concerned. Japanese by birth and culture, he has never remained on the superficiality of shapes, but he has managed to interpret, in accordance with the fundamental principles of his culture, the common traits existing among human beings, wherever they may be from, and wherever they may go to.

I particularly think that Koyama has found in Cadaqués –not the Cap de Quers (Quers Cape), of stones and boulders, as usually people think of, but the harbor or inlet where to anchor when the storm threatens in the Mediterranean, after Joan Coromines' suggestive philological interpretation from the Greek, specifically from Tucidides' History- the shelter that reminds him of his first impressions, those where people's ways of being and their way of expressing themselves, are based. Because everything is different when we see it for the first time and we do not stop to analyze it but, on the other hand, everything looks alike or similar when we are searching for the spirit of things. And as Koyama has decided on this second possibility, equally the most authentic and most difficult one, to find himself in a state of vital purity, consistent with the feelings of his childhood, he also connects very easily with the child fortunately inside all of us.

Koyama's figurations portray geographic locations, but they are always depicted in function of vital feelings.� He knows how to observe but he never paints what he sees, but what he feels. This is why in his paintings, there is to be always found a schematic sense saturated with a poignant naivety that induces us to favor concepts over forms. The latter do exist, but they are like the words of a poem that when interpreted as intended by their original meaning, they encourage us to make with our own feelings an act of collective understanding.

Bibliography: 

"Shigeyoshi Koyama, 1970-2005", by D. Giralt-Miracle, R. Santos Torroella, F. Galí and others.

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