Swimming As Dance, Dance As Movement, Movement As Drawing

_-_-_ this is perhaps the synthesis of the work of Japanese artist Kanako Hayashi, whose practice merges visual arts, performance, and dance. In this post, we talk with the artist, exploring what happens when drawing is no longer there/visible.

What is perhaps so interesting in Hayashi’s work is the movement that she introduces between her works, and the dialogue between different art forms. For instance, her series Practice for Water Dance is made of collages that form visual compositions. »I have recently started creating drawings as static blueprints of my movements and performative practices,« she explains.

Yet what’s beautiful is not (only) the visuals she creates, but the movement implicit in between the different frames and inside each composition. The lines seem to dance, perhaps because Hayashi’s practice was drafted through »intense training experience in competitive swimming and synchronized swimming during my teenage years.« Her work is thus the imprint of the rhythm of her body/mind.

Of course, her practice raises many (abstract) questions, namely on the possibility of drawing with the body. Many artists have already studied how to draw using the body, parts of the body, attaching objects onto the body, playing with music, constraining it into a specific space/ambience … but to me these works somehow have a limit in the sense that they never leave the body – they depart and arrive from this realistic perception. My question is what happens when we play with the gaps; with what is not seen? Dancers often ask »When do we stop dancing – when we leave the studio or when we sleep?« So, when do we stop drawing? And what are the imprints onto the body?

When we start to think abstractly about this subject, we arrive at different perspectives. What path do we take from home to school every day? How do we sleep every night in bed? How do we swim or drive the car? What patterns do we create? Do we draw them accidentally with the mechanical body, or with the programmed mind? Are they also connected in this sense?

Thus, my question about Hayashi’s work – how is movement translated in the work of an artist, especially in the visual arts? What is the trajectory/map that we create within different disciplines – for those who run around in circles, trying to catch the right form; move across different disciplines, or stick like a line, attached to just one obsession? That is movement within, of course. But is that movement a drawing? A drawing made with our mind or body?

Here are Hayashi’s drawings to stuff your imagination. Feel free to move them in your mind. Kanako Hayashi gives you a tip »——My body movement is like drawing a line—«