Friday 13 May 2011

The Finding of Tetsuya Ishiida: Presented by Boris Glikman

The Art of Tetsuya Ishida presented by Special Guest curator Boris Glikman

I never did get adjusted to childhood or to teenage years. I never could work out how to be young.

I knew - I felt - with merciless certainty that I had never before experienced in life, that I have been irreversibly changed by this realization.

So many times in this metropolis, I have failed to see life for what it is worth. Get up; run to work; run back home. This routine was as dehumanizing as any torture, and I was a part of it for a long time. My existence was reduced to that of an automaton. 

And I was frightened. Frightened, for I felt the grey mediocrity invading my very being. There it was penetrating me from all angles, filling in all the cracks exposed by my meager defenses.

Alone in the ocean of humanity, waves of people endlessly washing over you, who are these beings that rush past you? Strange, unfamiliar faces that you never saw before and you will never see again, they have no time for you and you have no time for them, your existence as meaningless and insignificant to them as theirs is to you.

Yesterday I spent most of the time in bed. I did not feel like getting up and just laid there and analyzed the past, trying to understand the linkage of events that lead me to my present condition, trying to determine the exact moment when it all started to go wrong for me.

While all the other people of my age were looking forward to socializing, finishing school and bright futures, I myself now had to face a titanic struggle with an enemy I could not flee from, an enemy from which there was no hiding place.

Today my life shimmered before me in all of its multitudinous facets, in all of its innumerable permutations but I just stood there dumbfounded, overwhelmed by the infinite choice offered to me. I knew not what to do, could not reach out and hold onto even one possibility. 

The pale buds of doubt have now blossomed into the bright flowers of despair.


*Text excepts from 'The Find'  : a short story

 by Boris Glikman


Tetsuya Ishida was born in June 1973 in Shizuoka, Japan . He died on May 23,2005 after being hit by a train, a possible suicide. Tetsuya Ishida painted scenes of ordinary Japanese life, but with the protagonist (a self portrait) always trapped in a machine-like body, or treated as part of a production line. 

The paintings of Tetsuya Ishida address the anxieties of an individual adrift in a world becoming unrecognizable through economic growth and technological advance. Although his paintings are wrapped heavily in skepticism, claustrophia and solitude, the works are above all beautiful, touching self-portaits of a man helplessly adrift in a world lacking in meaningful contact with others.


All images © Tetsuya Ishida


A special guest post by the poet and author BORIS GLIKMAN



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