Dec 14, 2023

KINETA KUNIMATSU “HORIZON”, 2020, acrylic paint on board, 300×235.6cm. Production started in early May and the work was completed in around 20 days. This marks the first time the artist has worked on three vertical panels together. The nature of the imagery and spaced framing of the panels give viewers a sense that they are looking through a window.

THE KNOT SAPPORO has many commission works on display,
The artists who created them each have a deep connection to Hokkaido.
We spoke to two of the artists about how they developed their ideas.
Text by Michiko Kurushima

What do you see at earth’s farthest point? 

The place where the sky and the earth, or the sea are separated We call it the horizon or the skyline. But is it really a “line”? “It’s not a line; it’s the farthest visible part of the globe. It’s the part of the earth that feels left behind, it is the other side of the world”

Since 2009, Kunimatsu has been working on a series of paintings called HORIZON. While setting up in Shiraoicho, a town in Hokkaido in search of a large work space, he became more and more interest- ed in the surrounding landscapeInspiration for his paintings came from photographs taken along the coastline near the studio.
“There were footprints in the snow covering the sandy beach, and I could make out a ship in the distance. I thought, ‘what if I turn this photo upside down to paint an interesting landscape with footprints across the sky.’ My series sort of grew from there.”

In viewing HORIZON, you might think you have seen something but if you try to find it again, it has disappeared like smoke vanish- ing into thin air. As you approach and focus your eyes, the texture of the paint takes on its own meaning, and whether you are looking at something on the board or at the board itself, it seems to melt away, leaving you with just your imagination. Kunimatsu studied sculpture at university, and this is his first foray into two-di- mensional art.
“Rather than limiting myself to simply using a paintbrush, I use sandpaper to scrape off paint after applying it. It is similar to how a sculptor carves away some of the material they are working with, to represent space.

The title HORIZON is stylised in English because there are two corresponding words in Japanese, and in this instance, English is more all-encompassing. “I hope these works allow viewers to superimpose scenes and memories they have seen or had in the past, rather than limiting their imagination to what I put in front of them.”

Displayed near the stairs of THE KNOT SAPPORO is a new set of three pieces from HORIZON. They are displayed on the second floor, so you can look at them at eye level or from below-see what you can make out from each vantage point, or in different light, time of day, or season. You might see a seascape on a rainy day, or an image of vivid rays of sunlight beaming down on a dry earth, another day.

Artist. Born in Sapporo in 1977. After graduating from Tama Art University, he has been based out of the Tobiu Art Community in Shiraoi-cho, Hokkaido since 2002. Recently, he has been creating works like sculptures and paintings on the subject of contours and boundaries that exist in landscapes such as the horizon, skyline, and mountains. He is a representative of the Tobiu Art Community.