(Japan 1953– )
45.5 x 60.0cm image;57.0 x 70.0cm sheet
The theme of windows and walls has fascinated Toda for some time. Windows link the outside and the inside; they are the conduits to dreams and fantasy. However the window is defined by the two worlds on either side of it: darkness on both sides silences the window's existence.
In this print, the glowing light beyond the window and the concreteness of the wall to the right, create a metaphor for Zen enlightenment. According to Zen teaching, Bodhidharma, the Indian prince who brought the doctrine of Chan (or Zen) Buddhism to China in the early sixth century and who is revered as the First Patriarch of Zen, attained his enlightenment after nine years of implacable wall gazing. In Chan texts 'wall gazing' became a metaphor for the inexplicable suddenness of enlightenment. Toda evokes this association through the quietude and mysticism of his image.
Toda now lives in Tokyo. He was born in Aichi Prefecture and educated at the Musashino Art University and the Sokei Academy of Fine Arts. He lived in France for a while and this experience deeply affected his own work.
Jackie Menzies, Contemporary Japanese Prints: The Urban Bonsai, 1992, pg. 93.
Jackie Menzies (Australia) (Author), Contemporary Japanese Prints : The Urban Bonsai, Sydney, 1992, 93, 104 (colour illus.). cat.no. 64
The Urban Bonsai, Queensland Art Gallery, 04 Mar 1992–04 May 1992.
The Urban Bonsai, National Art Gallery, Wellington, 20 Jun 1992–09 Aug 1992.
The Urban Bonsai, Christchurch Art Gallery, 12 Sep 1992–29 Oct 1992.
The Urban Bonsai, Manawatu Art Gallery, 13 Nov 1992–10 Jan 1993.
The Urban Bonsai, The George Adams Gallery, Victorian Arts Centre, 18 Mar 1993–25 Apr 1993.
The Urban Bonsai, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 08 May 1993–01 Aug 1993.
The Urban Bonsai, Lewers Bequest and Penrith Regional Art Gallery, 11 Mar 1994–24 Apr 1994.
The Urban Bonsai, The Drill Hall Gallery, Australian National University, 19 May 1994–19 Jun 1994.
The Urban Bonsai, Campbelltown Arts Centre, 15 Jul 1994–21 Aug 1994.
The Urban Bonsai, Moree Plains Gallery, 11 Nov 1994–24 Dec 1994.
The Urban Bonsai, Tweed River Regional Art Gallery, 01 Feb 1995–05 Mar 1995.