Kami-kiri 2001 52×73㎝ oil on panel Personal collection, Matsuyama
Actually, the photo above is of a C-print. The sole edition sized 20×31cm. The original oil-painting had been missing for a long time, until that day…
It’s not simply an image of four insects arranged on the four corners of the panel. I was not trying to make a picture of such. I was just practicing coloring, brushing…wiping, scraping and scratching without knowing what I should paint. Such a trial without any purpose usually ends only with despair. Yes, it really does. I know that very well. That’s been my life…So many agonizing trials with little reward as was usual. But at that time, things went unexpectedly right in the end. Kami-kiri was finally imparted on me. Have a close look on it. Kami-kiri itself proves that it was really a bestowal. I’d rather say I didn’t paint Kami-kiri but just helped Kami-Kiri to appear in my painting. You remember the Kurote story (Talk-75). Anyway, I was happy with Kami-kiri, but I didn’t have enough time to enjoy watching it in my studio (then in Tokyo). I had to send this “masterpiece” almost immediately to a group show which would be held by a gallery in Kagawa. It was at the show when I saw Kami-kiri next. My work gained a pretty good reputation among the viewers. And after Kagawa, the next event was coming soon, which was a competition organized by another gallery in Tokyo. My entry was with this “Kami-kiri” and that “Sayori” (Halfbeak-Advent, Talk-8 Fish) another “masterpiece”, you know. So, there seemed to be no worry of losing in this kind of small competition. And I won as everybody expected. I was awarded my own personal exhibition at the gallery for free. After the show, the gallery in Kagawa offered to buy “Kami-kiri” for their collections. The other work “Sayori” also sold to a private collection on another occasion. I was so lucky and happy in those days. But some years later I overheard that the gallery in Kagawa had closed down. All the property including Kami-kiri, which the gallery owned at that time must have been sold at the cheapest price and spread all through Japan. And I lost touch with both the gallery and Kami-kiri. Since then, every time I remembered this painting, I prayed that someone was taking good care of it somewhere in Japan, and so did I pray that morning too, on Wednesday Oct. 26 in 2016.
Local■After the prayer, I felt a slight dull pain in my back. At first, I didn’t care at all and started my daily work. But it grew severe, so severe that I couldn’t bear the pain by noon. I made an emergency call to Minami-Matsuyama Hospital where I usually go first, but unfortunately it was not open. They close on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Right, I remembered. I called Seikyo-Hospital next. But it was on its lunch break and closed until 3 pm. No way, I couldn’t stand waiting any more. It was killing me. The apologetic woman suggested that I should call Nisseki-Hospital which was on duty for emergency that day. The next moment, I was rushing to Nisseki-hospital by bike with no reservation. But strange to say, when I reached the hospital, the terrible pain had almost gone. The doctor must have been baffled and upset hearing this rushed-in patient’s unclear excuse. But I was released peacefully in the end, after being diagnosed as a “possible” kidney stones.
It came to me when I was on my way home. I was so relieved and relaxed that I took a detour for a change. I was pedaling at a slow pace looking around the way. And when I passed a cute hair salon…it was just minutes after I left Nisseki-Hospital towards Himegin-Hall and Dogo, I noticed a painting hung on the wall in the salon, which looked yellow-colored and was somewhat familiar to me. “What ?” I turned back and saw it through the window again. And what I confirmed there was…I still don’t know how to express my astonishment at that sight. It was my painting that I had long wanted to see again. “Kami-kiri” was being treasured here in Matsuyama, at this hair salon.
If you ever visit Matsuyama, and pass by this cute hair salon, don’t forget to confirm that Kami-kiri is hung on the wall inside. It’s Hair make Corto lungo, 3-1, Dogo-Ichiman, Matsuyama. You are allowed to look at Kami-kiri through the window.
ローカル■そういうわけでKami-Kiriは松山にありました。是非一度ご覧になってください。 Hair make Corto lungo（松山市道後一万3-1サンインテグラル道後１F）は、ひめぎんホールの通りで、道後からの電車が勝山方面に曲がる手前にあるオシャレで可愛いヘアーサロン。ここで大切に飾って頂いておりました。外から覗かせていただけますよ。『作品集‐2015年』には「たまむし」とありますが、「Kami-Kiri」の間違いです。サロンのマスターに「これはカミキリ(髪切り)です。」とユーモア交じりに指摘されるまでずっと玉虫かと思っていました。ここに訂正いたします。
I am not telling a happy-coincidence story, as I believe there is no “coincidence” with “Genuine Truth”. Every event has a reason, from the clash of an electron that’s just happened in my phone to the Big Bang. This Kami-kiri story is just the introduction for Talk-15, the talk about Mentor I, a religious psychic. You might think Kami-Kiri story doesn’t have anything to do with kidney stones or Mentor I at all. But I don’t necessarily think so. “The deceased Kaoru ISHIZAKI alias Mentor I” had been working at this Nisseki-hospital. I wonder if every coincidence which happened to me that day might possibly have been caused by spiritual power that relates to ISHIZAKI-san…. To be continued in Talk-15.