Splashes of tempura paint come to an arresting standstill in "Gardens," the latest project by Japanese artist Shinichi Maruyama on exhibition at Manhattan's Bruce Silverstein Gallery. With high-speed photography and the spontaneous gestures of action painting, Maruyama produces sculptural images at once frozen and fleeting in midair.
"I have tried to represent this feeling I get from Zen gardens in my artwork," he explains. "It is its own universe, empowering the visitor to resist temptation, eliminate negative thought and sever the continuous stream of inessential information emanating from the outside world."
Born in Nagano, Japan, Maruyama made a name for himself in advertising with his innovative use of digital photography and the visual properties of water. Taking a contemplative turn, he published two books documenting Tibetan life in 2001. Maruyama relocated to New York two years later and began to explore the artistic possibilities of photographic strobe technology and liquids. In the well-received series "Kusho," he examined the elusive nature of calligraphy with hurls of sumi ink and water.
"Gardens" runs through 2 April 2011. All images © Shinichi Maruyama, courtesy of Bruce Silverstein Gallery, NY