Fuminao Suenaga "Search Result"

19 January - 18 February 2018

Opening reception:Friday, January 19, 18:00 - 20:00

Maki Fine Arts is pleased to present Search Results, a solo show by Fuminao Suenaga, starting Friday, January 19, 2018.

Born 1974 in Yamaguchi, Japan, Suenaga graduated from Tokyo Zokei University with a major in painting. Recent exhibitions include railroad siding 2017 (former Tokorozawa city supply center for school meals, Saitama, 2017), The Potential of Intangible Art Vol. 3 Transform / Paint (with Yui Yaegashi, gallery αM, 2016), Born in 1974 (part 1 of a 40th anniversary show, Museum of Modern Art, Gunma, 2014), and APMoA Project, ARCH vol. 11 Museum Piece (Aichi Prefecture Museum of Art, 2014).

His upcoming show at Maki Fine Arts will showcase new works from his "Search Results" series, paintings depicting images that appear as a result of using artist names in internet image searches. Suenaga started the series in 2010, mostly focusing on virtuosos in the art world such as Mark Rothko, Ellsworth Kelly, and Barnett Newman. New motifs were used for his most recent works.


Within the Awkward Margins--Search Results by Fuminao Suenaga
Takayuki Hayashi (art critic, associate professor at Tokyo University of the Arts)

Externally, Suenaga's paintings always appear calm, yet, under the surface, they are accompanied by a subtle reference to or a critique on various preexisting institutions. At first glance, his "Search Results" series could be viewed as a parody of the gallery paintings that were popular in Europe during the 17th century--detailed depictions of rooms called cabinet of curiosities filled with paintings covering every wall space.
Yet, what the straightforward title points to is the system in which keywords entered into a browser's small search box produces countless images displayed across the window for the viewing pleasure of the searcher. After inputting keywords such as artist names to conduct a search and then using the outcome as motif for his work, Suenaga changes very little during his painting process. He is faithful to what the search-engine algorithm churns out, making no changes to the type or order of the artwork that appears on the screen. He simply experiments through trial and error with keywords and the size of the window to find a screen display that is satisfactory to him in terms of the selection and placement of the images.
It goes without saying that this "search" bears a social and political point. Today, the orders in which search results appear are directly linked to the amount of economic gain. For this reason, search algorithms must be neutral as much as possible and the businesses developing them must strictly guard their algorithms. Yet, the existence of search engine optimization enterprises attempting to externally predict these algorithms in an attempt to raise certain information to the top of the list is reminiscent of subjects of an empire fighting against each other to predict what those in power would prefer in order to get a better ranking for themselves, and, by doing so, inadvertently strengthening the authority.
By using a simple algorithm to produce something paintable, Suenaga skips what equates information to the ranking of images. When looking at his work anew, one sees a significant difference from the search result appearing on the monitor, noticing how the overall tone and color value of the artist's work are made uniform throughout. And just as expected, instead of finishing the miniature paintings within the canvas one at a time, Suenaga takes his time, proceeding with care, treating each work as an ensemble.
During this process, even the awkward margins that cannot be avoided in search-result screens are utilized as one more form and one more color. What specifically enables "Search Results" to possess the realism of the search result images while simultaneously achieving formality in the paintings are the margins. By gaining this white void, each work glows with Suenaga's customary calm palette beyond the critique against the unexpected power produced by the search engine.

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末永史尚 / Fuminao Suneaga
"Search Results"
パネル、綿布にアクリル / Acrylic, cotton, panel

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