• Monica Herrera

Life Scroll by Kentaro Chiba at the Alessandro Berni Gallery in Perugia


Life Scroll is the first solo exhibition by Japanese artist Kentaro Chiba, in Perugia, Italy. An impressive artwork that presents the details in Chiba’s art, mind, and soul. Draw in pen and paper reflecting the dedication and commitment to showcase all those images that were developed in his mind over the years. Images that were pressing him to make them a real and tangible art form, giving the rest of the world an inside view of his thoughts through the years, and allowing his viewers to marvel in his creation.


The invitation to the show, courtesy by Alessandro Berni Gallery

Created in 19 meters long, horizontal parchment paper and drew in pen. The art piece gives the illusion at times of a kind of old camera black and white film of images with details and depth that grant access to Chiba’s mind. Where the viewer can walk along the piece and immerse themselves in his world of creations. An invitation to explore his mind and see through it not only his artistic view but also his life view.


Panoramic scenery of trees and some magical intrinsic creatures are part of Life Scroll. Close view of landscapes, and long-distance view of houses or buildings are part of this extraordinary artwork, creating an illusion of a mystical world in which the viewer is transported into a complex yet accessible path of experiences and visions that were made to present the artist intentions.


The details in each drawing and the intensity of the black and white colors are examples of Chiba’s discipline. The contrast in the images, the forms, the almost palpable textures, the distance, and closeness of each drawing makes the Life Scroll art piece a deep immersion into a unique expression of art in which the piece acts as a road map to Chiba’s own story.


Chiba drew Life Scroll on paper over 29 years, putting his mind into parchment paper starting on 1991, drawing every day over the years, a time frame that is not represented in a chronological way in Life Scroll but is left to the viewers’ perception of it. A sort of timeless work, permanent in time and in the viewers own space.


Life has recently made clear that time is something that feels uncertain and a bit ephemeral as well. Having not control of it and its uncertainty has presented humanity with a different way to face its existence, making Life Scroll in this moment a display into a world where time can be interpreted by each individual and be perpetual in their minds and experiences.


Art in many cases is an opening to the artist mind but in that process, it becomes an opening to the viewers’ mind and version. Life Scroll is a big rolling window into a brilliant world full of magic designs, where mystic elements and creatures that interact with each other or are just existing in the piece were created to tell a story and to bring life into the overall experience.


Details from the artwork on show.

Courtesy by Alessandro Berni Gallery


Life seeing in black and white has been a reminiscent of past times, where colors were not an option in many cases, where life was lived in colors but presented as memories in black and white. The lack of color in art is an art form in itself, an option and another expression of the artist decisions, views and intentions. Pen and paper in black and white are a combination that in Life Scroll brings a neutral view allowing the viewers to find its own colors in their experience with the piece and their understanding of it.


Life itself is a sum of moments in time lived differently by each individual and expressed in different forms. In Life Scroll each moment represent a specific situation in a timeframe, a little peek into Chiba’s life, allowing the viewers to question their own moment in their lives. The colors of those moment and how those intrinsic worlds in each individual’s mind collide and live together in a distinctive space. In Chiba’s work the spectator can look at his expression, interpretation and memory of a specific phase in his life even if the time frame is not specific the feelings and consciousness of it are there in each drawing sometimes in the surface and in others in the settings deep inside of the scenes that were created.


The world is also seen through images in the likes of photographies, paints and many other forms in which a person or a community will leave proof of their existence, thoughts, memories or understanding of their lives. In Life Scroll Chiba created a map with his images, gave them life, movement, rhythm and an order. In that daily drawing Chiba created a work, a story, his story, that it becomes the viewer story when exposed to it.


Viewers and visitors experience art in their own way, often the artist intention is to create a clear and explained understanding of their art, in other cases, the intention is to leave it to the viewer so they can make their own interpretation, to answer their own questions and to get to their own conclusions.


Life Scroll is a work where the viewers can experience the outstanding artwork in their own way. Where they can look at it as it was created, as a statement of Chiba’s past, or they can take their own experience and conclusion.


Life Scroll, the artwork.

Copyright by Kentaro Chiba


The exhibition, Life Scroll A Solo Show by Kentaro Chiba is open to visitors at Alessandro Berni Gallery in Peugia, Italy. For more information visit the Gallery's Page or Artsy.net.

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