FAR TSUSHIN is a project that centres around reviewing and critiquing physical exhibitions, online works and shows, and individual paintings and pieces of artwork. London-based artist Nobutaka Asanuma and Glasgow-based artist Masaki Ishikawa run it, which was conceived in December 2020 and launched in January 2021. The project involves posting research-based reviews and criticism on our website in English and Japanese and promoting them on Twitter. We currently publish reviews of contemporary art exhibitions in the UK, USA, Germany and Saudi Arabia. In the future, we aim to increase the number of authors living in different countries and cities and to create a powerful platform for information and reviews of contemporary art exhibitions. If you are interested in joining us, please feel free to contact us.


Management and editors

Nobutaka Asanuma (NOBU)

Nobutaka Asanuma (NOBU) was born in Tokyo, Japan, in 1993 and is currently a student of Fine Art at Central Saint Martins, UAL, where he makes 2D and 3D works. The main subject is the social problems in our environment - including environmental issues. He is also interested in disseminating information based on his own experiences and has a personal blog about his work and arts movement.

1993年に東京で生まれた浅沼亘尊(NOBU)は、現在Central Saint Martins(UAL)のFine Art学科に在籍し、2Dおよび3D作品を制作しています。主な題材は、環境問題を含む私たちの環境における社会問題です。また、自身の経験に基づいた情報発信にも関心を持ち、個人のブログでは自分の作品や芸術運動についての投稿を行っています。

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Masaki Ishikawa


Masaki Ishikawa is a visual artist who currently works predominantly on paintings based on postcards. The postcards he uses as subject matter are often second-hand and bought from the overlooked corners of eBay and other sites. Ishikawa feels that the mass-produced front side, printed with typical travel experiences of each place, and the sender’s personal experiences and messages to the addressee written on the backside, hold the moment when a reproduction turns into an original in the form of a souvenir.

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© Not Vital

Minimalism and the power of essence | Not Vital: Paintings

This time I would like to introduce you to Not Vital's exhibition "Paintings" at Thaddaeus Ropac.

Born in 1948 in Sent, Switzerland, Not Vital divides his time between his home town of Beijing and Rio de Janeiro. He grew up in the mountains and forests of the Engadin Valley, near Switzerland, Austria and Italy, but has travelled and lived in many places, including China, Niger, Italy, Indonesia and the USA. In 1968-71 he studied visual arts at the University of Vincennes in Paris (now The University of Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis), and in 1974 he moved to New York to begin his artistic career. He has exhibited at many international exhibitions, including the 49th Venice Biennale (2001).

Vital's work draws inspiration from his nomadic lifestyle and his travels around the world. His portraits are of personal people, people who work together in the studio, people who have had a chance encounter that has made a strong impression on them, symbols of art, music or literature, or themselves in various guises. He then focuses on the relationship between form and space, using a minimalist approach with a minimum of detail. He paints what he sees as he sees it, creating a quiet excitement and tension, exploring the boundaries between abstract and figurative forms.

'makes you look at it more closely and more attentively, since the painting doesn’t jump in your face with loud colours,'
- Not Vital

The monochrome palette reflects his boyhood spent in the Engadin Valley in Switzerland. When he grows up in an environment where it snows for six months of the year, his eyes naturally become sensitive to white. And when the snow melts, the mountains turn grey. To minimise the influence of the surrounding landscape, the studio in Sent (Switzerland), designed by his brother Duri Vital, has been conceived for the sole purpose of painting. There are no windows; the light comes from the skylight and the LED lights that bisect the space. In addition, in the studio in Caochangdi, Beijing, the surrounding walls are covered with stainless steel to create reflections within the studio, encouraging thinking through the effect of looking into a mirror or pond. Emphasising the power of the essence rather than the detail, he says: 'The paintings are an inner vision of yourself and other people. It's like taking an X-ray to see what's inside.'

He created the series «Monk Portraits» after a trip to the ancient Lao capital of Luang Prabang, located in the valley where the two rivers Mekong and Nam Khan meet. These works are a painting on a saffron orange fabric used for the dressing gowns of the local monks. As he walked the streets of Luang Prabang, he recalled the monks he met every day and documented their memorable experiences in photographs. The minimalism of this series suggests the ascetic nature of the monk's lifestyle. The faces become dark focal points, floating like spheres against an intense orange background, temporarily inviting the viewer into the meditative state of Vital's subjects. Also, the anonymity in the crowd and the uniqueness of the encounter depends on each model's size variation.

ミニマリズムと本質の力|Not Vital(ノット・ヴァイタル): Paintings

今回は、Thaddaeus Ropacで開催されたNot Vitalの展示”Paintings”を紹介したいと思います。




モノクロームのパレットは、スイスのエンガディン渓谷で過ごした彼の少年時代を反映しています。1年に6ヶ月間も雪が降る環境で育つと、自然と目が白に対して敏感になります。そして、雪が溶けると、山はグレーになります。周囲の風景からの影響を最小限に抑えるために、弟のDuri Vital(デューリー・ヴァイタル)が設計したセント(スイス)にあるスタジオは、絵を描くことだけを目的としたコンセプトになっています。窓がないため、天窓と、空間を二分するLEDライトで光を確保しています。また、北京の草场地(Caochangdi)にあるスタジオでは、周囲の壁をステンレススチールで覆い、スタジオ内の反射を生み出し、鏡や池を見ているような効果によって内省を促します。細部ではなく本質の力を強調する彼は、’絵画は、自分自身や他の人々の内なるビジョンで、レントゲンを撮って中身を見るようなものだ’、と述べています。

《Monk Portraits》シリーズは、メコン川とナムカーン川の2つの川が合流する谷間に位置するラオスの古都ルアンパバーンへの旅の後に制作されました。これらは、現地の僧侶のローブに使われているサフランオレンジのテキスタイルに描かれています。彼がルアンパバーンの街を歩きながら、毎日のように出会った僧侶たちの姿を思い起こし、印象的な体験を写真に記録したものです。このシリーズのミニマリズムは、修道士のライフスタイルの禁欲性を示唆しています。顔は暗い焦点となり、強烈なオレンジ色の背景の中で球体のように浮かび上がり、鑑賞者を一時的にヴァイタルの被写体の瞑想状態へと誘います。また、描かれる人物によってサイズが異なり、群衆の中での顔の匿名性や、それぞれの出会いのユニークさを反映しています。