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Painting with Blood / Going into the Forest Again



Painting with Blood / Going into the Forest Again


In order for me to keep painting by any means necessary, I steeled myself for the strange prospect that I would one day paint with blood, but at the same time, that decision seemed undesirable. If the “organic sequence that begins without me even realizing it,” being that undesirable thing as my own criteria for the creative process, were needed, I became depressed that if painting with blood were natural, wouldn’t it be when I am shut up somewhere, when on an desert island, or when there is an unexpected massive hemorrhage, and if so, I hoped that the moment would never arrive.

From participating in Reborn-Art Festival 2019, from my chance encounter with Onodera, time suddenly started moving, receiving deer blood, and starting a dialogue with blood.

Blood, which ages and changes much faster than soil, definitely falls into the category of yin if I were to use the yin and yang principle, and it is a material unavoidably linked to the smell of death, and for the first time in my life, I felt discomfort while painting, though sensing the vitality of life and wishing not to waste a single drop of blood, I continued to paint. As though the verbal and nonverbal senses would come to me alternately, and with conflicted feelings of rejection and integration, comfort and discomfort, joy and sadness, I kept painting.

Closing my eyes, I came to see the forest where the deer lived, their eyes looking for food, tasty young leaves, constantly moving ears, the sound of walking on grass, the deer’s gaze, the muzzle directed this way without us realizing it, a gunshot, the birds that gather.

Twenty-two pictures painted with the blood collected on the first hunt in 2019

Four pictures painted with the blood collected on the second hunt in 2021

Four three-dimensional works made with the antlers of deer we caught and the cartridge cases

From here, I present some of the works that I have made without any verbal explanations.

I hope that someday you can view these in person, works transformed from what I received from the deer.

Slowly and steadily advancing through the entrance that was opened, I continue my dialogue with deer.

                           Tokyo, 2021



Born in Tokyo in 1981. Lives and works in Tokyo. In addition to producing works in his own studio, since 2003 Asai has been creating them at sites with widely varying conditions, including “Masking Plant” (plant made by drawing on masking tape with water-based markers and applying it to surfaces) as well as “Earth paintings,” made with mixtures of water and soil extracted from various sites where he has done residencies, and the “Sprouted Plants” series in which he cuts out the shapes of animals and plants from sheets of white material for marking lines on roads, and burns them onto road surfaces with a blowtorch. In recent years, he has drawn attention with prolific production of large-scale murals easily exceeding 30 meters in length. Asai’s animals and plants are often densely packed and juxtaposed on the picture, with small animals appearing to nest in large ones, representing a universal ecosystem in which macrocosm reflects microcosm. Recent major solo exhibitions include “Yusuke Asai: Seeds of Imagination, Journey of Soil” (The Hakone Open-Air Museum, 2015-2016), and he has participated in numerous art projects in Japan and overseas such as “All Living Things” (Vangi Sculpture Garden Museum, 2016), the Setouchi Triennale (Inujima, 2013-2016,), Echigo-Tsumari Art Field 2015, and “yamatane” (solo show, Rice University Art Gallery, Houston, 2014).


Painting with Blood







Reborn-Art Festival 2021-22
— 利他と流動性 —

【 会期 】

オンライン : 2021年1月6日(水) 〜
夏 : 2021 年 8 月 11 日 (水・祝) ~ 2021年 9 月 26 日(日)
春 : 2022 年 4 月 23 日 (土) ~ 2022年 6 月 5 日(日)

【 メイン会場 】

ー 夏 ー
牡鹿半島(桃浦、荻浜、小積浜、鮎川、and more...)

ー 春 ー

【 主催 】

Reborn-Art Festival 実行委員会

【 助成 】

文化庁 国際文化芸術発信拠点形成事業

【 翻訳 】
hanare × Social Kitchen Translation(英語)
小山ひとみ、吴珍珍(中国語簡体)、陳 兪方(中国語繁体)

【 Web Direction 】
加藤 淳也