Yukimasa Ida Crystallizes Memories of a Sacred Landscape

After a spiritual journey to Spanish dolmens, the Japanese painter captures the landscape’s implicit energies in thick brushstrokes and unexpected colors that ruminate on the passage of time.

Here, we ask an artist to frame the essential details behind one of their latest works.

Bio: Yukimasa Ida, 32, Tokyo (@yukimasaida)

Title of work: San Martingo trikuharria (2022). 

Where to see it: “Now Is Gone” at Mariane Ibrahim Gallery (18 Av. Matignon, Paris) until Nov. 26.

Three words to describe it: Now is gone.

What was on your mind at the time: When I saw the thousand-year-old tomb, San Martingo trikuharria, standing alone in the magnificent land, I was inspired. I wondered how many people have visited this place and prayed for someone special over the span of time. The sky I looked up at was big and beautiful, giving the notion I was connected to someone. 

An interesting feature that’s not immediately noticeable: The color of the sky stands out, but only after looking at the work for some time, which I found beautiful. I used a variety of color schemes for the lower layers of blue to give a certain richness. The various lines in the painting reflect the movement of my gaze I felt in that space… they seem to represent it.

How it reflects your practice as a whole: The desire to depict and preserve precious memories I have encountered beyond the current passage of time is linked to the underlying theme of my work. I have been working mainly on paintings under the theme of “Ichi-go Ichi-e (once in a lifetime encounter).” The existence of various things, things and people that exist in the midst of time changing and shifting. Without these relationships, this world would not exist. People existed in the past, and now they exist in the here and now. The miracle of their meeting is powerful. I believe that this work faithfully expresses these ideas.

One song that captures its essence: “Watching the Wheels” by John Lennon.

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