To Martha’s memory | Jiro Yoshihara | 1961
The artist Jiro Yoshihara devoted himself during almost his whole career to surrealism and abstract expressionism; and gathered the Japanese artists that expressed themselves according to these movements founding the Gutai school.
But in the final years of his life, the artist devoted himself entirely to paint circles. Circles, circles and more circles.
As we may guess, Yoshihara’s circles are not justa n attempt to copy a geometric form, but they have another meaning, deeper.
The mania of the artist for drawing circles was nothing new in his country. The zen buddhist monks do it constantly, as they believe that you can know everything of a person just looking at their drawing of the shape. The symbol of the circle is, for them, one of the most important in their philosophy, as it illustrates the unity of the world. Of an interconnected whole. Of a nothingness that generates being and being that turns into nothing (which is the real signification of the yin yang symbol). The shape of the circle is, then, perfecto. And that’s why the monks and Yoshihara are constantly looking to create the perfect circle: as a way of introspection, to see how deeply are they connected with their inner being and how deeply are they connected to the world around them.