Exhibition: Wings, Paws and Claws by Keiji Ishida

The exhibition is started from 30th October to 17th December 2015, admission free and is located at the Daiwa Foundation Japan House in London. The exhibition space only taken the first floor of the house, and the work are shown in two rooms. There are 13 work of paintings and writings in total.

The ideas from Ishida’s works are drawing away from the conventions of story books, he explores the significance of images when they are set free from the written word. Outside this paradigm, the initial significance of the image is lost, and reconstructed as a new point of departure. In Ishida’s work, he abandoned the traditional elements of the Western style, such as perspective, composition and tone, in favour of incongruous objects and text sharing the same dimensional space. No single object within each work is particularly the focal paint; instead, they maintain their own autonomous presence.


Ishida’s narrative is influenced by TV programmes that he enjoyed as a child, which were based on traditional Japanese folktales. Fascinated by the variety of mythological creatures and the human characteristics that they take on, Ishida has incorporated these anthropomorphic elements in the figures that inhabit his works.

The image, like a toy which draws us into play, invites the viewers into a fantasy space in which they can navigate the complexity of the canvas and the decontextualised illustrations. Merging time, space and logic, in Ishida’s work have no beginning, middle or end to their stories, and channel the child like curiosity of a story book.

For the installation with Ishida’s writings, some of the words are written in Japanese, and some of them in English. Those English writings are written under the Japanese writing, so I thought the English writings are the translation, but after talking to the staff in the exhibition and understood that the Japanese and English writings are separate stories writing. I think it would be better if they are not written on the same paper, so the viewers won’t be mislead by the arrangement.