Julian Opie, View of Matsuzaki Bay in the Rain, from Route 136, 2007, Richard Brown Baker Fund for Contemporary British Art
View of Matsuzaki Bay in the Rain, from Route 136
English, b. 1958 2007 View of Matsuzaki Bay in the Rain, from Route 136 Digital animation with sound; two monitors (diptych) 110.5 x 64.4 x 11.7 cm (43 1/2 x 25 3/8 x 4 5/8 inches) (each) Richard Brown Baker Fund for Contemporary British Art 2009.19.2
This work is part of a series called “Eight Views of Japan,” in which Julian Opie depicts scenes encountered on a road trip through that country. Based on the classic Japanese woodblock prints One Hundred Famous Views of Edo by the 19th-century master Utagawa Hiroshige, the series diverges from Opie’s well-known figurative works in subject. Both his figures and landscapes, however, feature bold contours, clear shapes, and flat areas of color. Like Hiroshige, who rendered views of roads and scenic locations during his own travels, Opie here represents a highway and a mountain vista. He digitally manipulated these photographs, animating them with sound and movement. Such software interventions suggest that Opie is not as interested in nature as much as perception and artistic representation, today and in the past.