Undoubtedly, we Europeans still orient ourselves on Japanese aesthetics to this day. Their radical minimalism and the all-embracing philosophy of wabi-sabi – the ‘perfection of imperfection’ – remain virtually unparalleled in the Western world.
Rei Naito (*1961) holds an exceptional position internationally among Japanese artists of her generation. In our eyes, her graphic work is fully in keeping with the idea of ‘perfection in imperfection’ or, in other words, the philosophy of ‘nothingness’.
Her works on paper confine themselves to the essence, assimilating merely light moods and chromatic vibrations without specifically depicting anything. They challenge us to focus as well as to expand our perception, our own sensory experiences and thought processes. A phenomenon to which we hardly dare expose ourselves in our performance and efficiency-driven world. Perhaps, however, the events of the past few years have made us rethink. It is time to present Rei Naito’s work in a museum of contemporary art.
Rei Naito will create an installation for the Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München with drawings made especially for the exhibition that are rarities in her œuvre. They open up a view of a subtly perceptive world of thoughts and ideas that is unrivalled. A stroke of good luck indeed for our museum!