Beauty Revealed in the Twilight

Mari Hashimoto

I would find a world in which only the clearcut and self-evident attracts people’s attention a somewhat difficult place to live.  I imagine that only things that are unbiased, correct, or open to the world would be valued there.   

I can only find peace of mind when entrenched in the dawn or dusk, when ‘I’, the subject of the speaker, is lost in oblivion, when it is unclear whether it is ‘I’ feeling something, or somebody else thinking it. Be it an entity or emotion so faint that it is barely recognizable through my senses or by searching my memories, a sign that has yet to manifest itself…I would be filled with happiness if I could be confident that they really exist.

The works created by Kondaya Genbey and Laura de Santillana can only spring from this the borderline. Between this world and the next, they are pregnant with omens of a distant future while reminding us of memories of a past life, containing a polarized, biased beauty.

Kyoto and Venice; man and woman; glass and fabric: these two artists are opposites, but both possess elements to which I find myself attracted, and they seem to resemble each other somehow. For instance, Genbey creates obi that retain the function and shape of tradition, and although Laura may not make vessels with glass, her works retain a certain shape.  It is interesting to see that by voluntarily accepting certain restrictions and conforming to certain rules, they are able to deepen the expression of their work, and even raise it to new heights. Within what appears at first glance to be a restrictive format, one where it is inconceivable to think that ‘anything goes’, a unique—solitary and aloof—individuality appears.

Moreover, the two artists are inseparably linked through their aesthetics, which contain long, complicated histories and cultures of their respective countries and cities.  They do not go out of their way to express this; they simply wait silently for the people with a desire to know to actively discover it for themselves. The strata of these histories and cultures is deep, rich, and something they never tire of or exhaust.  

They both follow their own courses, like planets orbiting the sun, never taking the same route.  However, over a long period of time, there come moments when their orbits intersect.  The sparks emitted by this meeting produce a flash of light, but what is it that is illuminated in the dark?  I would like to watch them carefully so I will not miss the sight of this unknown beauty.