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Le temps de l'Aurore et le temps des étoiles, 2015

Chinese ink and seawater from Surville (Manche) on paper.

100 x 70 cm.

Signed on the recto.

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The paper is brushed with seawater, following which there is a long pause to allow the seawater to evaporate and the artist to draw his image with Chinese black ink.


Both these activities happen together, working with Time to finish the drawing before the paper completely dries. It is a surprising and extraordinary process, showing how the Chinese ink reacts with the salty surface of the paper!  The crystals of salt will remain solidly embedded in the paper fiber, producing a subtle and beautiful iridescence and giving the ink drawing a delicately diffused quality.


Quite by chance several years ago, Sakata discovered this very interesting reaction…. the Chinese ink changes its permeability to water, according to the density of the mineral salts in the seawater.


Delicate black motifs are created by the diffusion of ink and salty water and the various size of crystals formed by evaporation on the surface of the paper. Unfortunately, it is impossible to show these fine effects with a photograph and the magical light reflected by the crystals of salt!


The artist also uses rock salt coming from different mines from all over the world (Wieliczka in Poland, Khewra in Punjab ...). Rock salt is an ‘Ocean’ which disappeared several million years ago!!! It contains more mineral elements than today’s seawater and its solution gives a very different effect.

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EIZO SAKATA was born in Aichi, Japan in 1954. He studied mathematical engineering at the University of Tokyo. As a child, he had loved painting and in 1983 he moved to live in France, where he resumed his passion for painting. Since 1986, he abandoned his career as an engineer and devoted himself to artistic research.


Starting with personally expressive painting and print-making, Sakata’s work evolved into a wider approach to Nature and the Environment (including people) which he called “Active Passivity”. In 2013 he began creating drawings using seawater and Chinese ink and continues to develop this unusual experimental technique.


Sakata exhibits his work in France, Japan and many other countries.


His 1998 “Kiss Project for 2000” work was funded by the Miro Foundation in Majorca. In 2004 he participated in the Sculpture Workshop held in Accra, Ghana financed by the J.P.Blanchere Foundation. Later, he was invited to be a member of the Jury for the UNESCO Prize for Contemporary African Art.

the Jury of UNESCO Prize for Contemporary African Art.
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