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The World of Teruo Sato  ; Summarized Edition

Second part

         mmmmmmmm Written, summarized and translated by Taketoshi Murayama
 xxx Original translation is rewritten by Tomoko Daijo McLean

This original text is written in Japanese.
Complete edition will be translated into English in the future.
This text must not be translated into any other languages without author's permission.


   According to the iconology, the work that a painter has created leaves the will of the author and it will be placed in the cultural code and be given a unique meaning. After a work receives a different meaning in it, even the author needs to understand it as a third person. This is the pronouncement that strips the absolute sovereignty of the author. Roland Barthes said the act of creation is only rearrangement so he had disavowed the sovereignty of the painter in the picture.
   If a painter does not have a specific teacher and learns by the self-teaching from masters in the past, there will not a cultural code which joins the painter and other painters, either. In Sato's case, when observing his work from the point of iconology, the deepest understanding of Sato becomes possible, when verifying it from the value which he had believed in and chosen, because of his picture-for-picture principle and his excellence. We practiced this in the previous part.
   Sato did not have any special Japanese painter whom he looked up to. Therefore, he explored the way he should advance forward to while studying the great master of the famous western paintings such as Leonard Da Vinci (1452-1519 Italian artist, scientist, technician). As a painter in Japan, Sato did not receive any influence from other contemporary painters. This is how he had been piling up his original achievements in his paintings.
   According to Sato, there was no time to think about themes for paintings, since during the years in school as a painter, he had encountered with vagrants in the underground world at the defeat of Japan for the World War
U and had been suddenly forced to what should be pictured. Therefore, he said that there was no time to undergo influences from other painters, either.

   To understand his work, the most appropriate way would be to look at them from the viewpoint of the pure realism which he sacrificed all of him to. However, it does not necessarily mean a painter lives in the picture philosophy. He is placed in the actual social relations as a human being. That is where he must engage the political act and the sales activity. It can be said that these are restrictions that the theory of the iconology and Roland Barthes had overlooked.
   The human beings have instincts of life and of death, and they must walk and go between them. The voice of these instincts that enters the heart and the body of the painter works on the Existence of the painter, and influences on the world which will later become the mother of the work through the field as artist. In Sato's case as an absolute painter, it has an influence on the frame of the world.
   In Sato's case an absolute painter, exposing life and death voices which he could not help but receive as a human being became a very important task, since the inflowing element of the culture and civilization to the work was reduced to the least within necessity. And then this becomes the core of the task of this chapter takes a work back from painter's side.

   Both words and paintings handle signs, however, signs on paintings have an effect as symbols. Symbols on paintings have the most powerful character, because it handles the image that directly produces an idea.
   However, Sato used it with limits because the symbol was deeply connected to the cultural code, although it became the powerful arms for the picture from the non-cultural point of view. For example, a tank indicates a war, and the abandoned cars indicate an advanced industrial society, and so on. By overusing this fact, Sato needed to spend unnecessary energy to understand the literature.
   Because the power that symbols hold exists in the tools that painters use, it can be used by all the painters. It is the symbolism that uses this power the most. The literalism is at the opposite pole. Therefore, the symbol seems to use the operation which directly shows other meanings by using existence of itself.
   It is necessary for a sign to be formed as a historic custom in order to create a symbol. Paintings can directly use already-made symbols.
   Because the purpose of the literalism paintings is only to draw the existence of an object, there is no partner to create a symbol, and the power of creating symbols will be personally renounced. Because the realism contains literalism, it renounces the power of symbols or restrains it to the minimum state when it is used. Therefore for Sato, the use of the symbols had to be avoided to the utmost as a pure realist.
   However, Sato had the best insight about mechanism of creating art, such as the relation between the image and the world, and its role at the field. Sato was strongly conscious about the internal world in himself in relation to the field where the work is produced. Then, Sato maintained a clear dualistic recognition by feeling outside that was associated with this.
   This duality came in contact on the surface and the back of the canvas and made canvas the eyes of Sato. Then, his pure realism exceeded the frame of the monotonous literalism while the duality was continuously being felt by Sato. In other words, opposing the literalism that completely renounces the symbol, the pure realism of Sato had the power to personally introduce symbols.
   However, the excess inflow of the symbol promotes the fusion of the boundary between the internal world and the external world. Since the root of Sato's painting lies where these two clearly separates, the fusion leads to the self-destruction. Therefore, it was necessary for Sato to struggle continuously against the invasion of symbols. His attitude of the non-culture was closely related to this as well.

   For Sato, the invasion of symbols started from the internal world through his Existence. When trying to draw the piece which he called "The Inheritance", he saw this scenery about snow covered up the mountain of abandoned cars. Then in his mind he saw the civilization in front of him is as the event during the glacial age. This is when the internal impulse ran through Sato that made him want to try to use snow as the symbol of the glacial. However, he felt that the frame of the pure realism would instantly collapse if he relies on it, so he denied this concept. This is where we can see the example of Sato's struggle against making symbols.
   However, making symbols is inherent in tools for painting. Since Sato had a perfect ability for the image operation, it was possible for him to draw out the power that lived in this tool to the maximum. In fact it is difficult to restrain a person's free ability to what he wants to do. When one has the maximum ability, the temptation of making a symbol becomes strong as well, so the struggle against the impulse for it becomes severe. This temptation came from the inner personality of Sato. Besides, in the integrated pictures that duplicate the world on their works, temptation comes in from the picture theme as well. Therefore, when Sato drew an integrated picture, the power of symbols reached its climax.
   The source of the temptation of making symbols was in his Existence. All beneficence and burden of Teruo Sato's living times and society penetrated into his frame of the work as ingredients of a symbol generation.
   Sato was the thoroughgoing representational painter who had the outstanding ability to describe details. Therefore, when the impulse of making symbols welled up inside his idea, it was necessarily to be painted precisely as a concrete object. Therefore, we call symbols that Sato invented "literal symbol".
   In short, the fact to capture the work of Sato from the viewpoint of the theory in this chapter is to see, on his work, the consciousness of life and death as a human being in addition to the way of confronting the symbols that are working on the Existence which was created from the material that the environment produced during the year of his life.
   All painters grow and mature as human beings. For them there is always a time trial, such as training period, completion of the peculiar work, matured period, and old age. Sato, too, is not this exception. The following is the life of the painter Sato as he grows and develops as a person.

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