Strongly evocative as well as being of highly symbolic and lyrical value, the works of Hidetoshi Nagasawa (Tonei, 1940) are always intensely permeated with Far Eastern philosophy, thereby leading to research that syncretically combines the spiritual heritage of the East and of the West, filtered through crossreferences and ideas stemming from an experiential and human dimension that he has never disregarded. The artist and his family moved from Manchuria to Japan, and already in the 1950s he became familiar with the various trends in avant-garde art through his contact with the Gutaj group as well as by regularly visiting the independent exhibitions organized by the magazine “Yamiuri.”
Nagasawa arrived in Italy in 1967 and was quickly immersed in a climate of intense artistic fervor, in which he came to know artists such Enrico Castellani, Luciano Fabro, Mario Nigro, Antonio Trotta, Gaetano Ongaro. His training as an architect and a designer, combined with his skills as a sculptor, led to the artist’s extensive and visionary spacialism, which was constantly referring back to the heart of a poetics that consisted of balances and counterpoints, of voids and fulls, of shadows that fade into the direction of a concise, essential, condensed sign that allows for a glimpse of the inner nature of objects. The journey as concrete experience and tòpos of Nagasawa’s exploration takes on the value of a relevant passage of symbolic crossing, the transcending of sign-related and cultural borders, the acknowledgment of what is new through a reading of the known.
The artist’s choice of themes associated with a variety of materials such as wood, iron, wax, paper, bamboo makes tangible the sense of a research that is in constant tension between the visible and the invisible, inclined toward a creative idea which moves from its manual nature to a sensory and eidetic horizon via a pathway strewn with material and immaterial “places,” which Nagasawa puts together in the form of habitats, rooms, doors, walls, gardens, fences, boats, screens.
In 1991 Nagasawa showed at Framart Studio in Naples: on view were hitherto unseen works in marble, iron, wood, bronze and silver, including the work in the collection called In medio virtus: this consists of two marble statues made in 1975 by the Pietrasanta sculptor Gugliemo Antognazzi. As they face each other on two plinths covered with white sheets, they mimic antique marble statues, relating the concept of a space-time that is both mental and physical, as if suspended between them.