"I am preparing myself, through my art,
for the possibility of not being"

My art work can appear inconsistent, unstable, liable to change direction without warning. I am not especially concerned with questions of abstraction, representation or stylistic matters in general. What most attracts me and finds its way into my work are opposites, differences, conflict, and mobility -- the conditions that signify life as it is lived now, in our times. My means of addressing these issues are the simplest ones: light and dark, water and oil, color and black. During 5 years of research in a studio of Occidental techniques in Tokyo, I modified my medium, mixing Western and Far Eastern techniques. Through asymmetry and irregularity, an important aspect of the Japanese esthetic (Fukinsei, the denial of perfection, an essential and inherent aspect of existence) I look for broken symmetry. In making my work, I seek to put a "pause" on life, to re-examine it and rework it with the material tools available to me: natural pigment and casein, acrylic paint, color filters, wood, piano cord, as well as my video camera, memory wire and earphones. That this is an impossible task is self-evident, but the effort must be made. In this way, through my work, I am seeking to prepare myself for the inevitability of my eventual -- our eventual -- "not being". Pause, resume, end, reset.

Some people say that my work is contemplative. I would rather think that I am observing reality, and keeping myself aware of our space-time. Catching the light from a window or freezing some junk mail on my canvas allows me to materialize that time in my own space.

I have a limited time to spend on this Earth in opposition to the infinity of the cosmos. My philosophical interest in Buddhism reflects an American philosophy that stresses with Buddhism a naturalistic pragmatic culture. A vital relation with human life, in its content as well as its emptiness, permanent change, impermanence and interpenetration inside the Circle, the magic of life, death and eternity. The interrelation of material facts and the interrelation of the Universe. I have discovered in Japan the "sabi" and understanding of existentialism, this spiritual power to transform the abstract to concrete, shown in the writing method of the "ideogram".

The universality of the technology allowed in the domain of the arts transcends the distinctions of tradition and nationalism and allows one to see the real significance of art. The main problem is how to present the dignity of the human being without the nationalistic distinctions we are facing. When conflict arises between nations, artistic expressions assert solidarity. These exchanges from one side to another bring about new knowledge. That is why I have always travelled and studied in both the East and the West: in Europe, the United States and Japan in particular.


Bertille de Baudinière, New York 2010