Manabu Kochi

Claude Lemand. “Born in Okinawa, Japan, in 1954, artist Manabu Kochi com­pleted his studies at the School of Fine Arts of Florence and set­tled in France in 1981. The poetic, joyful and col­orful char­acter of his paint­ings and sculp­tures strongly appealed to me from our first meeting in December 1988. Sculptor, painter and engraver, he has suc­ceeded in devel­oping a per­sonal uni­verse, a syn­thesis between prim­i­tive arts and the most inno­va­tive and pos­i­tive modern European trends. His post-modern work is imbued with phi­los­ophy and humor, color and har­mony. Thanks to the Claude and France Lemand Donation in October 2018, the col­lec­tions of the Museum of the Arab World Institute in Paris are rich in a very impor­tant col­lec­tion of works by Manabu Kochi.”

Françoise Monnin. "Far from the dis­en­chanted doubts expressed by post-modern visual artists, the work of Manabu Kochi asserts itself as an always spon­ta­neous and renewed pro­fes­sion of faith, a daring quest for fun­da­mental energy. Kochi is a Artist of Spring. Manifestos for Hope, its drawn pat­terns and mod­eled vol­umes evoke births: seeds, germs, buds, the first stages of evo­lu­tion. The appear­ance of tender and embry­onic con­cre­tions of cer­tain sculp­tures whis­pers the poetry of Hans Arp. The playful eroti­cism of their poly­chrome curves some­times joy­fully recalls the mis­chievous look of the pro­tu­berant mor­pholo­gies invented by Miro. Aquatic and cosmic, this world speaks of flex­i­bility and silence. Around the island of Okinawa, fauna and flora with eye­lashes, ten­ta­cles and antennae gently swayed in the East China Sea. When you are born an islander, freedom comes through water and air. “I am not a sym­bolist. I am not looking for meaning, but for all the forms that I like. » Kochi spon­ta­neously gen­er­ates visions and care­fully safe­guards his childish wonder."

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)

Public Collections:
- 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.
- Paris. Museum, Institut du monde arabe, Paris. Donation Claude & France Lemand 2018.


Copyright © Galerie Claude Lemand 2012.

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