In Sato's paintings, clouds are the reinforcing emphasizing material for
the horizon and they also predict the upcoming of the wind. They also bring
separation from the universe and unification into their world. The wind
and clouds are the elements that introduce a sense of dynamic time inside
the painting. Since horizontal lines are the outline of the death,
clouds can be taken as an accompaniment of death as well.
Furthermore, from Sato's point of view since the field of gravity on the earth turned into the center of the universe, it was necessary to draw all creation to appear to feel the gravity. Also Sato needed to restrain himself from using perpendicular lines since he put his whole heart and soul into the secular world.
Wind ; 1970
In order to show this, the effective way is to put a thick cloud-like lid
over the upper empty space. The birth of first cloud is seen in "The Token on Wilderness inside of Myself". In "Wind" which is the sister work of "The Token on Wilderness inside of Myself", the clouds had made a progress. On the other hand, in "The War Theory" which is the child of "The Token on Wilderness inside of Myself", the use of clouds had just started to stand up and walk in the painting.
However, the clouds in the distance which were separated near the horizon
on the ground and several standing tornadoes show that clouds are independent
existence. There is something remarkable about this cloud development.
The clouds in "The Pillage by a Tank" are already expressing a full self-assertion. Another characteristic may
be the existence of the bird. As shown in the previous part, this bird
is an adjutant stork and is used as a tool which has an extremely important
meaning in Sato's painting. Sato had already introduced this bird in the
trial work of "The Token on Wilderness inside of Myself".
The Pillage by a Tank 1 ; 1970
The Pillage by a Tank 2 ; 1970
First of all, a bird is a part of the sky and it also suggests the existence
of the sky even if it is hidden. Birds hold a duality by becoming a part
of the nature and the creatures.
Also the birds in Sato's paintings, such as crows and gulls, become an
accent in the sky when placed in the distance. However, when birds like
adjutant storks are placed in the foreground, they become a company of
the clouds. When a bird is painted in the foreground, Sato draws very complicated
Next, we see "The Pillage by a Tank". The tank on the top in the painting is an American one, and the one in
the bottom is Soviet's. As previously described, the horizontality is the direction of death,
perpendicularity is the direction of life.
The gun barrel of the American tank, which was said to be used during the
operation of landing on Okinawa islands in 1945, is placed sideways, so
the horizontal line created by it suggests that it is the guide to the
death world. Therefore, as if it corresponds to death, there is the more
number of corpses in this painting than the other and even the tank is
running over a part of the pile of corpses.
An adjutant stork also comes into the painting shown above. It is already mentioned that the meaning of this bird is the key element of the sky. In addition, it also symbolically means a guide of death. When it is specifically drawn big, it strengthens
On Windy Day ; 1967
Drought in Summer ; 1967
Windy Day ; 1969
Spring ; 1967
Three of his works, such as "On Windy Day ", "Drought
in Summer", and "Windy Day" were painted one to three years prior to "The Token on Wilderness inside of Myself", and these three works are considered the important steps that lead
to it. Although Sato's eyes were pointing to the air, the physical existence,
such as the hole in "Spring", which clearly points at the center of the Earth is never drawn.
When interpreting this painting as if it is a fault on the ground, there
should be life directing upward from the top of the pile of corpses. Then,
a holier world is to emerge to the extension of it. The leg of the cheerful
woman in "On Windy Day" and the face of a goddess of the sun in "Drought in Summer" are the reserves of the holy representatives.
Experimental Work of
The Token on Wilderness Inside of Myself ; 1970
In the experimental work of "The Token on Wilderness inside of Myself" which was already shown in the previous chapter, Sato drew a face of a huge adjutant stork in this part. It is the god of death who was placed in a holy place.
― Written, summarized and translated by Taketoshi Murayama ―
― Original translation is rewritten
by Tomoko Daijo McLean ―
This text must not be translated into any other languages without author's
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