Keiji Usami
Ghostplan 2, 1971

The picture Ghostplan, 1971, is typical of Keiji Usami’s early work. It resembles a panoramic educational chart. Its carefully thought-out graphical structures are based upon the human attitudes conceived by Usami following documentary press photos of his time – running, frozen in place, throwing and bending down. In order to emphasize the impersonal and graphical character of the figures, they always appear as a flat, two-dimensional schema with no head. New forms are created by the overlapping of the outlines, and the forms could be said to be moving in time. These forms are combined with graphical movement lines, which indicate the presence of a system of exchange and alteration whilst, at the same time, connecting with the aesthetic of Chinese characters or the formal lines of a Japanese playing board. Usami’s vision of time and space deliberately approaches the graphical representations associated with scientific models: the potential field of the shell model for the construction of the atomic nucleus or genetic blueprints, for instance. The picture’s plain text states in four points that the structure is based upon four figural silhouettes in white and gray, whose tracks begin at six ‘starting points’ defined by colors.

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