JAN MULDER Kata Guruma (Shoulder Wheel) 2006 - x +
MulJ2009kata

CN: MulJ2009kata

MT: oil on canvas (E:70x60 / T:70x120)

TX: inscribed with felt pen at rear upper center in Dutch <'KATA GURUMA' - 2009 (right panel) / DIPTYCH OIL ON CANVAS / JAN MULDER // [monogram]>, repeated on the right panel

CT: Holland Tunnel Gallery, Brooklyn - 2009

CM: Jan Mulder entitled his homage to Lafcadio Hearn Kata Guruma. This title refers to a Judo throw that is known in English as 'Shoulder Wheel', and is also one of the traditional moves developed by Jigorō Kanō (1860-1938), the Japanese martial artist who founded Judo. After a great deal of hard work, Kanō devised this technique while he was still a young man studying at Tenjin Shinyō-ryū. In 'kata guruma', one gets underneath the opponent's body, mounts him on the shoulders, rises up, and throws him forward. This technique enabled Kanō to hurl mighty and well-built opponents to the floor. Of course Mulder's painting is a visual version of the kata guruma throw. Here is the artist's own account: "Although I never visited Japan, I was introduced to its culture through Judo that I practiced as a young boy. Despite my obstinate behavior, I respected the rules and regulations on the 'tatami' traditional Japanese flooring because the condition inspired me to do so. Especially the greeting before entering the tatami made a lot of sense and nobody had to explain its meaning. It means, of course, you enter a real world that requires respect for your opponent, yourself and the spectators. Formality and ritual protects, I learned. Judo represents a way of life. I was never subject to the kata guruma throw, but I must confess that I also never performed it in official challenges. When I read the writing of Lafcadio Hearn, the valuable experience of Judo - especially notions of concentration, intuition and patience that play a great role - came back to my mind. What particularly appeals to me in Lafcadio is his curiosity about Japanese nature and culture and the precise description of his observations. An open mind requires a ever-young spirit, but also an all-embracing vision on humanity and life." For Kata Guruma Mulder used a particular colorscheme: lemon yellow and ebony black from the tube for the left panel; and titan white, ivory black and spots of pure red for the right panel. Kata Guruma references a mix of traditional landscape painting and comic strip illustration of Japan.

[Megakles Rogakos 04/2009]

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