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Published Article

The page below was on the Oakville Galleries website on Feb.1,2006.  It seems to have been removed since then.
The links and navigation below may not be reliable. 

The Oakville Galleries are located in Oakville, Ontario, Canada.

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Miyajima Art From Jan. 27 - March 25, The Oakville Beaver will publish a series of contributed articles for Oakville Addresses, a new public program at Oakville Galleries. We asked a variety of local Oakvillians, both teens and adults, to write a short essay on their favourite artwork from Oakville Galleries' permanent collection. In today's article David LeBlanc, an art enthusiast and one of Oakville Galleries’s most dedicated visitors, writes about Changing Landscape with Changing Self, 1996, by Tatsuo Miyajima. Oakville Addresses is a complementary program to the exhibition Addressing Oakville, on at Centennial Square, 120 Navy St. until March 26.


Tatsuo Miyajima, Changing Landscape with Changing Self, 1996
By David LeBlanc

Renaissance painters gave us a unified picture of a complex world.  With time, the world fractured and so did its depiction in art.  Modern art has been exploded into tiny fragments without any apparent cohesion or meaning.

Tatsuo Miyajima’s work looks like the discarded remains of an oversized calculator display. The slanted 8’s are a universal shape that have permeated our world in so many digital displays that we would be hard-pressed to count from memory how many there are in our house.  We receive a great deal of the information about our world through these displays.

Tatsuo can find meaning in the work because in traditional Japanese culture “88” means prosperity.  This is because it is the number of days for the rice crop to grow.  Also, Japan’s industrial base is dependent on electronics so an age-old conflict of tradition versus modernisation is emphasised.  He has a figurative Changing Landscape with Changing Self  to deal with.

What are we, as Westerners, to make of Tatsuo’s work? The 8’s are transparent areas in a mirror surface placed into a window frame.  This is a physical barrier protecting us from the outside world.  We are now literally receiving information about the world through the artwork and not just digital aspects of it through electronic displays.  But there is not an external reality without an observer, ourselves, as seen in the mirror surface.  We even help construct a new reality by buying the electronic devices that separate us from that world. 

Tatsuo’s artwork gives us multiple meanings for the digital display through a play on words and circumstances.

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