From the 1960s onward, painters and sculptors of Minimalism avoided symbolism and emotional content of the Abstract Expressionism, and instead emphasized anonymity by calling attention to the materiality of the artwork.
Employing prefabricated industrial materials and simplified geometric forms, the sheer surfaces of their oeuvres require physical as well as a visual response from the audience through the fundamental qualities such as weight, height, light, and gravity.
The artworks presented in this exhibition share similar characteristics with the Western Minimalism. For instance, the 'circles' of Yoshihara, Tanaka, and Nasaka from the Gutai group, the 'dots' of Kusama and Lee Ufan, or the 'lines' of Yamada's paintings all show the tendency towards repetition of simple forms and their orderly arrangements. The favoring of the industrial material is also evident in Nasaka's use of potters wheel and car lacquer, Matsutani's vinyl glue, Tanaka's performance with light bulbs and paintings with enamel. However, if we take a closer look at this seemingly 'minimalistic' aesthetics, we will soon notice that the artist's creative process involve a rather corporeal connection with the material, and their obsessive repetition and the meticulous craftsmanship incorporate a sense of meditation and delusion.
Unlike the cool and inorganic Modernism of the West, these meditatively minimalistic works embody both confusion and order, and it's the lapse of the orderly patterns and rhythm that an energy of 'life' seems to lie therein.