The Formation of the Wilderness ; 1980
This work is the direct descendant of "The Token on Wilderness inside of Myself" as well as "The War Theory". This work precisely fits in the frame of Sato's painting style. The exception
is the hole in the sky. As we can see from the history of Sato's
painting achievement, when moving on to "The Token on Wilderness inside of Myself" he achieved "The Ptolemaic rechange". This was a switchover to the Ptolemaic (geocentric) theory in the
Furthermore, Sato was strongly attracted to the primitive Buddhism of Gautama Buddha (BC563-483 Indian religionist The founder of Buddhism) who advocated; "Only the self is most important". Since Sato did not admit holier existence than himself, he was
always in the center of a whole creation. There was no contradiction between
the Ptolemaic theory on the painting and the attitude of Sato in his life.
However, in today's modern world, the Copernican (heliocentric) theory
is scientifically proved. Since Sato was not a surrealist, the proven result of natural sciences could not be ignored. In the present-day
world, Sato could not help but somewhere being conscious about the growing
distance between his picture philosophy and science.
Therefore, it is possible to say that the hole in this work was created
from the window of his consciousness. When viewed from another point, it
is possible to say that this hole is the passage that he passed through
from when Sato achieved "The Ptolemaic rechange". If so, looking
back into this hole may be the retrogression of Sato's history of painting
Suppose a one-sided time axis which runs from the past to the future, walking
back toward the past is indeed retrogression. This one-sided time axis
is the western time that meets God. In spite of Sato's heart that was attracted
to the primitive Buddhism, his time recognition might be more inclined
to the western time recognition which was based on the Darwinism.
If it was so, passing this window became retrogression for Sato. According
to Sato's actual painting achievement, he had never touched and gone through
this window again ever since. Therefore it is possible to assume that Sato
still held of the western time idea.
However, irrespective of the time recognition problem, the opposite side
of the window was artistically nothing for Sato. The stars painted in that
piece might be just a ceremonious greeting to the scientific view of the
The important thing to focus on here is the sand coming from the window.
The sand is the component of the desert and it was the outline of death
for Sato. The sand emphasizes the corpse on the ground and the symbol of death. The sand which is made of inorganic minerals is the symbol of
the absolute death and it is insulated from the life.
Sato said that he charged this sand with the image of revival. However,
such an important message would be simply a subjective intention if not
painted as a form in the painting.
Since this sand, which is considered as a symbol of absolute death, comes
from the universe, for Sato the universe too was the world of the absolute
death like the ocean. (Being different from sea, birds cannot inhabit in
The Earth too was the planet of death in Sato's mind. Stating more precisely,
everywhere had a smell of death except for his living area. It is surrounded
by the continent that is colored by the death of life and the sea that
can be recognized as the water tank of absolute death without the existence
of life. Then if the space, too, is the world of absolute death, for Sato,
it is possible to say that the entire outside world was covered by a curtain
Sato often admired the size of the Earth which is completely exceeding
a life and told joyfully that the time of one's life is very short
compared to the age of the universe. Therefore this recognition of the
universe seems to agree with the philosophy of the death. In this way,
by expressing the depth and the width of Sato's sense of value, this work
has something that cannot be included in the direct descendants of "The Token on Wilderness inside of Myself".
― 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 permission.
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