suckerPUNCH: describe your project.
macoto MURAYAMA: i research botanical illustration and plant’s photography, as well as other two-dimensional media that are peripherally related to botanical illustration. botanical illustration is an image/form that possesses both scientific precision and aesthetic value. different from fine arts such as painting, it has a unique charm in which the “scientific” and the “artistic” coexist.
i thought it would be possible to manifest this allure in my own creative artistic expressions – a new form of plant depiction that transcends accepted (common, usual) horizons of botanical illustration. in the midst of this stream of thought i created work, titled “inorganic flora”. generally plants are considered to be livings things with organic forms. however, this is only one of their sides, since they have conflicting elements in geometrical and mechanical structures along with an organic form. by featuring the inorganic elements of plants, the plants present figures that differ from the norm. thereby it enables the viewer to discover some distinct and appealing points. in the first place people are apt to be fascinated by things which we see superficially. however, there may be more important and truly essential aspects inside things. it may apply to a plant too. there is beauty not only on superficial part but also at internal part as well. i want to show fascinating world of plants that differs from usual.
the process is as follows.
1. the reconsideration of the established image that a plant has. 2. the analysis of the macro-viewpoint (analysis of the outside shape) and the micro-viewpoint (the dissection of the internal structure). 3. the composition to the refined molding. 4. the transmigration to an iconographic image changing an existing image. this process is a scientific look to analyze to minute parts and the artistic look to grasp a graceful proportion of the object. in other words this is the compromise of scientific eyes and artistic eyes. this is exactly the same as the botanical illustration’s principle. the botanical illustration is an image that combines precision (of botanical science) and an artistic expression. a form / means / purposes of the output are different, but, as for the look, it is the same as the botanical illustration. and a feeling to enjoy the beauty of the plant above all does not differ either.
sP: what or who influenced this project?
mM: i think there are a lot of things. t’s hiroshi aramata that i was most influential in them. he is reseacher of natural history illustration. he is an author, writer, translator and more. his collection had be published in many books up to now. thanks to his editing, i could watch many many images of natural history. and i was interested in flower images especially, it’s botanical illustration. yoshihiro inomata is very important too. he is a pioneer of technical art technical art is precise illustrations of car, building, machine, and more. these are drawn transparent like x-ray photo. the style of drawing fascinated me because i had never seen images like this art.
sP: what were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
mM: tomitaro makino, kumagusu minakata, shigeo miki, charles rennie mackintosh, nick veasey and ernst heinrich philipp august haeckel