Hijikata Twist

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I’ve mentioned in a previous post that I enjoy thought provoking artwork and this is exactly how I would describe Richard Hawkins’ Hijikata Twist. In this exhibition, showing in Tate Liverpool until May 11th, the American artist Richard Hawkins has looked at the effect western art has had on the art of the Japanese artist Tatsumi Hijikata.

By creating collages using Hijikata’s journal entries and cut outs of the various 20th century artworks that inspired him, Hawkins creates direct links between the art, Hijikata’s thought process and the influences they in turn have had on Hawkins himself.

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The entire exhibit has a sort of DIY feel to it, like the sort of creations me and my friends were putting together as teenagers desperately trying to assemble thoughts and themes in a way that looked good. And this doesn’t detract from the work at all, it just gives it a homely and expressive feel to it which made the exhibition all the more accessible to me.

As well as this, I really liked that Tate had included some of the original artworks featured such as one by Willem de Kooning. Being able to move between these iconic canvases and then the more simplistic sheets which Hawkins had produced gave a sense of the artists process as well as a feeling of his own humility. By this I mean his awareness of the constant development of art which so often involves taking inspiration from various artists.

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I think this is particularly true of contemporary art where it is really difficult to think of something truly original and it is quite refreshing to see an artist accept, and even revel in, this fact. Overall this was a really unique and special exhibit and I would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in not just looking at great art but also considering what goes on behind that.

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