Es Racó D’Artà, Artà, Spain: Hiroshi Kitamura
Art is everywhere in Es Racó d'Artà, a unique enclave in the Balearic Islands. Today we dedicate ourselves to a very special artist whose works can be seen and felt in different places of this extraordinary place. Namely Hiroshi Kitamura, who was born in Hokkaido (Japan) in 1955 and settled in Camallera, a small village in the Empordà, with his partner Marta in 2012. Today, he tells us about his approach to art, his inner conflict and who his art ultimately belongs to.
"Half of me is in Japan and the other half is here. I am a hybrid. Sometimes, the feeling of being divided can cause a conflict in me, but it also does positive things. The mother, the language, the culture I belong to is Japanese. There are feelings in me that cannot be transferred because of that, and despite the memories of Japan that are anchored somewhere deep inside me, I still look for the culture here too. I'm not interested in the differences (of which there are thousands), but in the similarities we have."
Despite his academic training as a sculptor and graphic artist, Hiroshi is nevertheless rather self-taught. When he comes up against the limits of technique, he doesn't try to overcome them, but to figure out his own way. For his creations, he uses all the materials at his disposal to create something - be it pencil, earth, cement, titanium lux, pigment, glue, paper or bitumen. What others throw away, he rescues - from felling, storm or fire - so that, after being processed through him, it takes on a new life beyond its original form.
"I never know exactly what I will use, because it is the materials that find me. The forests are full of life. I always find broken, rotten materials - trunks, branches, stones, moss, which I can transform into a composition, as in ikebana, which eventually takes over the space in the room. The gaps or voids it leaves are fundamental elements of the overall perception."
So, Hiroshi chooses his material very conscientiously. He chooses everything that is accessible, that is reachable, that surrounds his living space. With him, we don't have to look beyond the here and now.
"All these forests or branches were born here, they belong to this land and that is exactly why I use them. It is a branch, for example, that has long since ceased to live. It has already dried up or died, but its bend has survived. Its bend has a cause just like the life of a human being. It is not linear, it branches out, it crosses my path, a shoot comes forth, it seeks the sun, it seeks other things. I converse with each branch and admire it. That's the way I relate to the material of my work. It's a very deep relationship. My feeling is like this plant matter that holds the power of life and its beauty. Once I create something, because of that, it doesn't belong to me anymore."