being a creator, the painter must be faithful to his own works, and is to be
affected by them. In relation to his works, every painter has both active and
passive aspects: irrespective of his own will, the painter is both God and a
slave of his works at the same time. This does not rule out realistic painters
who put their hearts and souls into being a human.
Thus, when considering the achievements of a painter, it will assume completely
different aspects depending on whether observed from the side of the creator,
or of his works that affect him.
The website of Mouseion provides both ‘personal theory’ and ‘discussion’
on the works. ‘Personal theory’ focuses on a creator, while ‘discussion’
on his works is a comment and argument on the works. In addition, we include
‘technical theory’, pure extract of the techniques that are peculiar
to the painter commonly found in above- mentioned two parts. It will help
you in comprehensive understanding of a full picture of the painter's achievements.
the painter, higher the possibility to identify the common nuclei from both
theoretical aspects; of the works and of the person. However, since the
grandeur of the painter impels him to further struggle with his works, visual
images in work and personal theories would be quite contrary.
Sato (1926-2003) may as well be considered as the greatest realistic painter in
the Japanese art history; this is why he is featured first in Mouseion.
Japanese paintings simply aim to decorate images on basis of the standardized rules, leaving no room for the
elements of realism. With the exception of Sato, there is no Japanese artist of
western paintings who is aware of the idea of realism. (In the phrase of Sato,
Japanese style paintings are composed of only lines.)
This is demonstrated clearly in the following quotation on the preface
of his own paintings' collection: "I must say that the realism is
a philosophy of watching. Everyone has two screens within himself: internal
and external. People use the internal data when perceiving the external
world, and vice versa. Therefore, watching the nature means watching one's
own mind." The prominent insight into the understanding of realism
is observed in what he meant. This understanding alone makes Sato worthy
of being called as a master realist of the art history, even if he did
not have painting techniques at all.
His distinction was shown in differentiating the world into two. As previously
mentioned, realism is to cancel out images to the actual world; this is
a measure to abandon the painter's inherent characteristic, or producing
the image's originality.
Mediocre realistic painters are wedded to this originality of the image.
Sato, however, separated the world into object and representation. These
two are clearly divergent; representation is a reflection of reality came
about to one's mind, so it is not simply an image, but a kind of world.
Namely, while aiming for a single world as an objective of realism, Sato
discovered a second world to replace the image. The introduction of the
second world would not contradict the idea of realism, because the second
world is likewise a part of the world. Moreover, this second world recovers
the painter's characteristic in image operation.
Before Tempest ; 2001
Realism is "a philosophy of watching", or to cancel out images
to the world through one's sight; - this is the basic understanding, but
yet this simple truth is never self-evident. Sato, however, took it as
a matter of course, revealing the abyss of his recognition of realism.
Still, he understands that "screen" indicates a mental image,
and that it has a correlation with objects as "external data".
Even a philosopher wouldn't have such idea in his daily mind. The fact
that Sato, who was a painter, can penetrate this easily proves his extraordinary
Furthermore, it is necessary to pay attention to the word "data"
as well. His reference to this word indicates that he unconsciously noticed
the difference, previously mentioned, of the universe as an accumulation
of information and a world as the possible mother's body of artwork: Sato
was aware of the importance of "field" as an essential source of his world.
― Written, summarized and translated by Taketoshi Murayama ―
― Original translation is rewritten by Michiko Takahashi
This text must not be translated into any other languages without author's
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