Whitestone Gallery Hong Kong is pleased to present Gallery Collection, a group exhibition of prominent Japanese artists from GUTAI. In the period of postwar Japan in 1950’s, group of young artists who came under the leadership of an older and charismatic leader, Jiro Yoshihara. Yoshihara himself was an artist whose motto was “never imitate others”: make something that has never existed before. While the group was incredibly diverse, and there was no aesthetic link, its members came together over their approach to art and their desire to do something that had never been done before. Group members have made an investigation of action and emotion, and focused on discovering new structural and material possibilities within imagery.
In October 1956, group leader Jiro Yoshihara proclaimed in the art journal Geijutsu Shincho, which was published in December in the same year.
“With our present awareness, the arts we have known up to now appear to us in general to be fakes fitted out with a tremendous affection. (…) Under the cloak of an intellectual aim, the mateirals have been completely murdered and can no longer speak to us. Lock these corpses into their tombs. Gutai art does not change the material but brings it to life. Gutai art does not falsify the mateiral. In Gutai art the human spirit and the material reach out their hands to each other, even though they are otherwise opposed to each other. The mateiral is not absorbed by the spirit. The spirit does not force the mateiral into submission. If one leaves the material as it is, presenting it just as material, then it starts to tell us something and speaks with a mighty voice (…)”.
Gutai Group Show features large collection of highly energized works from the Gutai era, but also the recent works from 80s and after, not only focuses on the historical significance in the context of art history, but also emphasizes the development of individual artists throughout the years.