The generative process of Inagawa’s work involves repurposing office papers, used timbers, drawings, paintings and photographic material from an archive of snapshots which reflect the artist’s everyday encounters. Inagawa’s work involves a perpetual act of manipulative re-intervention - the constantly updated material reality of the digital age is a vital element in his practice.
Contemporary society is built upon an overwhelming accumulation of technological development. A smartphone as a multi-functional device has widely equipped people, facilitating both the easy access and release of information in cyberspace. With accelerated speed, the landscape of this cyberspace is continually expanding. This makes a complete picture of the space almost impossible to seize within a single human’s capacities. This astronomical mass of information is contradictory at point of use - compressed and projected onto the flat screen of handheld device; with the help of highly targeted search engines a user can experience the illusion of being able to manipulate and utilize a seemingly boundless pool of information without ever contemplating it’s vastness.
In European art of the seventeenth century onwards, confronting the overwhelming vastness of nature led to a feeling of awe which was called ‘sublime’. Since we are facing the paradigm shift in our contemporary cultural landscape, the realm of the sublime is ripe for re-definition. Inagawa considers the complications of contemporary society; how it responds to and is shaped by technical advances, is a rich realm to explore a present-day concept of the sublime. For example, complex photo manipulations may be compressed and hidden within a single, impenetrable, layer of a digital image file – this is echoed in Japanese culture’s ability to amalgamate outside influences that are seamlessly absorbed into Japanese society with little trace of their origins.
Accidental manifestations of irregular shapes, stains, breakages, errors, failures and creations by others are treated as modules of plurality. Initial artistic intentions are twisted and re-routed by the artist himself once the he feels he has encountered a limitation. Therein lies the creative path; a shapeshifting entity is germinated and grows like an untamed garden of a wild nature.
Yuko Kunichika, curator, Nakata Museum, Onomichi (Exhibition: Haru no Niwa, 2018)