David Hockney made his first trip to Japan in 1971 and visited “Kyoto Nihonga No Seika [The Essence of Japanese-Style Painting in Kyoto]” exhibition at Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art, where he came across the work of Heihachiro Fukuda. This exhibition included Fukuda's “Sazanami [Ripples]” and “Shinsetsu [Fresh Snow]” whose colors and compositions deeply amazed Hockney. He is said to have even proposed Fukuda's solo exhibition at Tate Gallery in London. Furthermore, influence from Fukuda’s works as well as Japanese art could be recognized in several works Hockney made after his visit to Japan, such as “Snow” or “Rain” from his “Weather Series”.
The playful shining ripples of the water’s surface. Vivid colors of nature change their expressions in the sunlight. The rhythms and colors of nature are the most notable elements of the two colorists’ oeuvre.
Both Hockney and Fukuda have painted the reality of nature with such bold color field composition which transforms their figurative paintings to look almost like abstract paintings. Rather than depicting what is actually there, its focus is on color which is a form interchangeable with appearance. This shift of consciousness from object to color may change our worldview.
The exhibition highlights the dialogue between Eastern and Western aesthetics by juxtaposing Hockney’s iPad drawings “The Yosemite Suite” series made on his iPad with the six masterpieces by Fukuda, including “Blue flags”.