Claude Lemand. “Born in 1954 in Okinawa, Japan, Manabu Kochi finished his training in Italy and came to live in Paris in 1981. Working in the fields of sculpture, painting and engraving, he has succeeded in creating a personal link between Primitive Arts and the most innovative movements in European Modern Art. His works are full of philosophy, humour, colour and harmony.”
Donald Kuspit. “Like all Kochi’s hybrid individuals, it is a simultaneously living being and a weird object, part crystalline geometry, part organic matter. What seems particularly important about them is that they integrate two orders of knowledge: intimate “acquaintance knowledge” and abstract “about knowledge,” as William James calls them. They are typically opposed, but Kochi makes them complementary. That is, he creates a double perspective on his individual, extending the “simultaneity” that began in Cubism: a personal, close up, concrete, colourfully experience of it and a detached universal view of it, that is, a “survey” and “conceptualization” of it from a distance overhead. It is as though we are simultaneously seduced by the individual and looking at a map of it.
For that is ultimately what Kochi shows us: familiar forms emerging from and dissolving back into a cosmic force-field, signalled by dynamic allows and swirling forms he often uses. The material objects are transient appearances in a field of eternal energy, which is Koch’s true theme. It manifests itself in material fragments, and is always on the move. Kochi ecstatically swims in it. He achieves the proverbial oceanic experience, but he does not want to lose control completely - be carried along blindly by its current – which is why his figures, for all their fluid and fragmentary character, are rigorously conceived.” (Donald Kuspit, New York, 1995)
Hideo Yamamoto. “I don’t intend to present the following statement simply as a metaphor. It is actually possible to communicate with the painting of Manabu Kochi. The power of seeing enables us commune with his work. In fact, I suspect that his painting itself seeks this communication. The images we meet there are filled with organic lines and colour full of pulsate energy. They cannot be interpreted in the historical context of modern art, including post-modern art. What they probably present to us is the imagination people have carried with them from time immemorial.” (Hideo Yamamoto, Tokyo, 1997)
Shigeo Chiba. “The way Manabu Kochi forms shapes in his painting can be basically defined as “metamorphic”. For instance, a human figure turns itself into an animal or plant figure, the other way around, sometimes a combination of both. He transforms existing, concrete figures into freely open forms. His painting is based on ancient and modern transformation myths, which reflect the way shapes in our lived reality must endlessly transform. It is the “light” that enables this eternal metamorphosis. Light, like the maternal oceanic, gives life varied forms and allow them to live within its realm. While these forms, in the richness of light, continue to metamorphose forever…” (Shigeo Chiba, Tokyo, 1997)
Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Cabinet des Estampes, Paris.
Collection Novotel d’art contemporain, France.
Musée de plain air, Golf de l’Amirauté, Deauville, France.
Musée municipal, Bailleul, France.
Musée municipal, Oita, Japon.
Musée d’art contemporain d’Okinawa, Japon.
Bibliothèque d’art, University of Okinawa, Japon.
Musée d’art, Sakima, Japon.
Fundación Museo del Grabado Español Contemporáneo, Marbella, Espagne.
Palm Hills Golf resort, Japon.
Donation Claude & France Lemand 2018. Museum, Institut du monde arabe, Paris.