photo: SAIKI Taku

Flow 02-35 / 02-36

ArtistHATTA Yutaka
Material/ Techniquemulberry (tree bark)
Size/ DurationH193×W262cm
Copyright Notice© HATTA Yutaka
Year of acquisition/ donation2003
DescriptionBorn in Fukui, Japan in 1930. Lives and works there.

Hatta Yutaka graduated in 1951 from Kanazawa College of Art, where he majored in Westernstyle painting. He studied under TSUCHIOKA Hidetaro and became a member of the avant-garde art group Hokubi Bunka Kyokai. Hatta was regarded as a standard-bearer for the local avant-garde art movement, exhibiting works at “the 9th Shell Art Awards exhibition” (1965) and “Trends in contemporary Japanese painting and sculpture” (the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, 1966) among others. In the 1980s, after experiencing weakening eyesight and learning he would eventually become blind, Hatta focused on community-related activities, launching “the Tannan Art Festival.” From the late-1980s, when he lost his eyesight completely, he began to explore drawing, eventually developing in the mid-1990s a unique form of expression using as his materials paper, especially Japanese paper and ‘kozo’ (mulberry).

After losing his eyesight in the late-1980s, Hatta continued to paint by rubbing acrylics onto canvases using his fingers, although he eventually rejected artificial materials in favor of locally sourced natural materials such as washi and kozo. He began by unravelling the kozo fibers in a mixer, scooping them up in the palms of his hands, and pasting them together to produce works in which traces of his handiwork clearly remained. This technique developed into the “Flow” series of pieces that make full use of the kozo bark’s long fibers. The series of processes whereby Hatta creates a new order while conversing with the material, first unravelling the fibers and then softening them using nothing but the acute sense of touch in his own fingers, are extremely physical acts. The forms he creates, which take shape not as virtual images but as actual images under circumstances Hatta controls mentally using all his senses, appeal to the unconscious minds of contemporary audiences, stimulating a flow of primitive energy deep inside viewers.