THE LOOP GALLERY is pleased to announce “what color do you see?”, a solo exhibition of new works by Nanae Mitobe from October 27 to November 15, 2023.
Mitobe studied abroad at the University of Vienna in Austria in 2022. With a profound dedication to portraying the motif of “faces”, Mitobe’s creation have developed into pressing social issues, ranging from race and sexuality to the complexities of our capitalist economic system. Throughout this transformative study abroad experience, Mitobe embarked on a profound exploration of her identity as an artist, confronting a pivotal question: ‘how do we perceive color?’
In this exhibition, Mitobe will exhibit a collection of new works that center around the disparities in color perception that exist between her vision and others.
Approximately 4 percent of the world population* experiences a phenomenon where in addition to their normal senses, they also have the simultaneous occurrence of another sense. This phenomenon, where individuals might see colors associated with letters or numbers or experience seeing colors when hearing sounds, is known as “synesthesia”.
From a young age, Mitobe, who possesses synesthesia, will not only exhibit her paintings but also her first-ever video artwork. In this piece, recorded interviews play on a cathode-ray tube television while monochromatic subtitles appear in sync with the spoken words. This work aims to visualize the synthetic experience of “sound” and “color”.
Mitobe’s cross-border exploration of color perception promises to awaken our curiosity, as well as the ineffable sensitivities of others.
*various opinions exist
I naturally see colors in each individual letter and number.
“A” appears as red, “B” as blue, “W” as a light shade of blue, and “H” as white.
“Wh” together forms the color white.
The word “white” aligns perfectly with its meaning, appearing white.
A similar word, “wine” is a pale, greenish shade.
(“n” in reddish-purple and “e” in yellow)
My birthdate is 19880702.
7 is cyan #00fff, a bright shade of blue with a hint of green.
2 is a light pink with a touch of red.
1 is blue, but when two 1s are together, they form white.
9 is a deep purple.
And 8 has a slightly yellowish-green hue.
Upon graduating from elementary school, I had a special assignment to create a commemorative music box in my art class. in 2001, I chose to represent 2 in red, 1 in blue, and 0 in harmonious colors.
I had my first English class and encountered the alphabet for the first time when I entered middle school.
A as red, B as blue, C as pale yellow, etc, I saw colors in letters, not just in numbers. (I remember I scored 3 in my first English test and a 4 in math).
I spent some time in Vienna from last year through this spring while I was in my graduate program. Vienna is a city where diverse cultures and races intersect, and I had the opportunity to meet and interact with people from various backgrounds. During my stay there, I asked the locals a simple question: “What’s your favorite color?” Based on their answers, I decided to create art.
In this exhibition, I aim to explore the colors that others see and the colors I see within myself.
My goal is to provide an opportunity for a clear visualization, starting from the choice of colors in art creation to the relationship between color and people.
Synesthesia is a phenomenon where the stimulation of one sense triggers another perception. I possess synesthesia, a sensory gift that paints letters and people with colors, potentially leaving an indelible mark on my artistic endeavors. This synesthetic world extends beyond the realm of visual perception; I also possess what’s commonly known as ‘perfect pitch’. A single hearing of a melody allows me to replicate the exact notes on musical instruments like the flute.
I see people in colors, and each person’s color is unique.
Even if they appear white, there are various shades. Some appear as translucent zinc white, others as a gradient of pale pink, and some as a matte titanium white.
I wonder if the way I see the world is related to the way I drew portraits.
My first video composition for this exhibition is consisting solely of black and white text with accompanying audio and noise. By deliberately facing monochrome text, a multitude of colorful images and scenes emerge.
Based on the interviews I conducted with locals in Vienna about their perceptions of color, I seek to delve into the understanding of how people individually interpret colors. - Nanae Mitobe