Two spiral figures

When I was a child, my mother died of illness. This is why, I don’t know when it started, but I was little, I grew up with the anxiety that I would get sick one day too.
I am not sure when I started to see those figures. When I began to be aware of things, I could already see them. To be specific, I observed them. But I never spoke of those figures to anyone. Because I was afraid. I thought they were a sign of the illness and only I could see them. I only wanted to hide the fact. Those figures even appeared in my nightmares and it was deeply traumatic for me. Yet at times some of them were extraordinarily beautiful, and attracted my curiosity.
Sophie Calle is a French contemporary artist whom I particularly admire. One of her works is entitled “The blind”. It is moving. Through this work I have learned and understood that even people who have been blind since birth keep their most beautiful images to themselves; paintings, objects, landscapes. Then, I don’t know why, at the same moment I thought of recent contemporary art exhibitions, so luminous that I did not know which to choose. Perhaps because my intuition told me that they logically represented two extremes. Then, in a sequence, my thoughts evoked a passage in a letter that I had received a few days earlier from Mr. Senju Hiroshi, a great master in the world of art: “Today there are actually many non-artistic works that seem to be so at first glance, and artists must have the ability to distinguish between them.”
When I was seventeen, one of my schoolmates sitting beside me during a lesson said: “Look how beautiful they are!” His eyes were closed. Nevertheless, he was definitely looking at something. He was shaking his head slowly, as if something was moving from right to left in front of his face. There is no doubt he saw something. At that moment I understood that in this world, besides me, there were other people who saw these figures.
Since then I have talked about it with others. Some friends had already seen figures in the past such as the ones I painted on the blackboard. Figures similar to the cells of something, that jump up and down, run right and left, move at changing speed in the dark, under the eyelids. These figures were not illusions that threatened only me.
One September in the mid-Nineties I began to paint these figures (or spirals, or ovals, or irregular forms) and with them I produce works in glass. Many people say these motifs are abstract. And it embarrasses me a little. Because they are not abstract at all, but realistic drawings of the images I see with my eyes.
They are the images that everyone carries in their mind or in their heart, the ones that I am interested in painting or making out of glass. They are the images held by Asians, Christians and Muslims. They are the images of whites and blacks; but also of people who think in an old-fashioned way or live in the new world. They are also the images perceived by people who cannot see and by contemporary artists.
Since that September it is clear to me that one day two contrasting ideologies, forming vortices, in the long run, though sometimes with sparks, will come together. As if they created the vortices that I paint. I always nurture this hope: “surely some day they will come together”.
It is precisely because we are in this time that I would always like to paint and to shape dreams. That is my thought.

Winter 2006 Tsuchida Yasuhiko