We caught up with local artist Yuichi Hasegawa and went deeper into the artistic process surrounding his latest solo exhibition, entitled "Aura", at Ki Gallery. It is on view until Saturday 21 October 2023 and admission to the gallery is free.
On the subject of Auras
Can you see auras? Do you think they can be detected by sight or alternative senses?
I do not have the ability to see or sense auras myself, but sometimes during meditation, I can see colour patterns flowing vividly. There are times when I sense a difference, albeit a kind of atmosphere, from a space, an object, or a person, but believe that it is associated with the 5 senses and past experiences (memories).
Do you think that auras change?
If we recognize these differences in energy as an aura, then I believe that it does change. My theory is that the concentration or mass of the aura changes rather than the total volume.
Are the auras in the paintings based on a certain subject or about feelings at a certain point in time?
It is more like an emotional response. It is not because I had explicitly felt the presence of an aura, but because the word and concept of "auras" fit within the relationship between events, the depth of time, and other things that I cannot see.
What do the colours in these aura represent to you? Is the meaning behind these colours influenced by chakras and energy fields?
In terms of colours, I am conscious of balance, harmony, and ambiguity. It is not a mystical thing like extracting energy fields, but rather the fluctuation of time and rhythm I am trying to capture.
On the Artistic Process and Methodology
Why did you choose acrylic paint to represent the theme of auras?
For this series, I preferred to use acrylic paints because of their distinctive colour palettes (e.g. fluorescent colours). Fluorescent colours are powerful as they have high intensity and chromaticity due to their ability to absorb ultraviolet light. When placed against other hues, it provides a certain depth and contrast that I am interested it expands the range of expressions within my paintings.
What is the significance of the layering of colours?
The layering symbolizes the traversal of time, as the colours are stacked to represent the past, present, and future.
Why did you choose a square canvas for most of the works in the series?
I chose the square format because it emphasizes the depth caused by the layering of colours, each one creating its own hierarchy. The constant volume of these auras is reflected in the fixed area of the square canvases. However, the concentration of the colours within its perimeter changes, as does the mass of the auras.
What is the significance behind the naming structure of these pieces? (i.e. Aura-atm-xxx)
Since the subject matter for this series of works is ambiguous, I was more focused on capturing the atmosphere (atm) of the time when I painted, and felt as though the numbered format was most appropriate for this.
On his Solo Exhibition at Ki Gallery
How does this series fit in with the previous two at Ki Gallery?
The major theme underlying “Aura” and my past two exhibitions, "Life in Colour" and "Corridor of Memories", revolves around “ambiguity”. Ambiguity, in this sense, does not mean vague but rather implies the nuance present in the constant fluctuations of our individuality or personality.
What would you like the audience to have a sense of or feel when looking at your series of works?
The word aura in the title of this exhibition may be troubling for some people, but perceiving and communicating using the five senses, which people often take for granted, is also a mysterious phenomenon. I hope the audience will enjoy this exhibition and the ambiguity surrounding the auras. In my future work, I would like to expand on my range of expression, freedom of theme and interpretation of my work.