Japan: Art and Its Essence

Japan: Art and Its Essence

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 32. Hisaji Hara (b. 1964) | Six inkjet prints from After Balthus.

Property from an Important Private Collection

Hisaji Hara (b. 1964) | Six inkjet prints from After Balthus

Lot Closed

July 26, 01:32 PM GMT


7,000 - 9,000 GBP

Lot Details


Property from an Important Private Collection 

Hisaji Hara (b. 1964)

Six inkjet prints from After Balthus

each inkjet on archival paper, signed in pencil in Roman script to the reverse Hisaji H., and comprising:

- A study of ‘Therese’, 2010, edition number 2/3

- A study of ‘Katia Reading’, 2009, edition number 3/3

- A study of ‘Happy Days’, 2009, edition number 12/15

- A study of ‘The Salon’, 2009, edition number 7/15

- A study of ‘The Victim’, 2009, edition number 3/15

- A study of ‘The Room’, 2009, edition number 2/3

140.2 x 111.8 cm., 55¼ x 44 in. (the first)

135.2 x 111.8 cm., 53¼ x 44 in. (the second)

32.8 x 43.3 cm., 13 x 17 in. (the third)

32.8 x 43.3 cm., 13 x 17 in. (the fourth)

32.8 x 43.3 cm., 13 x 17 in. (the fifth)

111.8 x 162.3 cm., 44 x 63⅝ in. (the sixth)

MEM Gallery, Tokyo

Hisaji Hara was born in Tokyo in 1964. He graduated from the Musashino Art University in 1986. He emigrated to the United States in 1993 where he worked as a film director and later returned to Japan in 2001. Cinema is central to his photographic work, particularly the works of Russian film director Andrei Tarkovsky (1932-1986). The influence of film is redolent in his series After Balthus which appear like camera stills from a movie. Hisaji’s meticulous rendering of Balthus’s (1908-2001) expressionist paintings in black and white transform the strange, unnerving and suggestive compositions into cinematic scenes. Rather than the domestic interiors of Balthus, Hisaji transports the setting to an abandoned medical clinic that fell into disuse in 1960, capturing a sense of stationary time.

Dr Nicole Coolidge Rousmaniere comments: 'Frozen time with staged tableaux executed in a meticulous fashion are a selection of photographs created by Hisaji Hara (b. 1964). This collection showcases several works from his After Balthus series. Hara consciously references Balthus, a French Polish artist who had a considerable impact on the Japanese art world, and whose works initially serve as a template for him.1 But then Hara shifts the discourse to Japan and creates the tableaux in a disused medical practice. Not content with just recontextualizing the images to Japan, he creates a film set-like stills in black and white employing multiple exposures while shifting the focus on a large format camera. Hara has succeeded in giving new meaning to his images while honoring Balthus, incorporating the past, through his camera equipment and handmade stage settings to a nostalgia tinted nod to post war Japan. Hara as completed the incomplete and by doing so has created something new, leaving us with multiple paths to interpret his work.

1. https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2012/feb/26/hisaji-hara-photography-hoppen-review