The Sky Behind the Sky

October 16, 2009

About eight or nine years ago, Mas started using spray paint on   wood boards to create his suiseki art, and soon developed his technique to make paintings. 

When I first met him, Mas was making paintings in his “Atmosphere” series.   At the time, Mas told me that he was trying to “paint the sky behind the sky”.  Light seems to pour from his paintings, and I swear they can brighten a dark room. 

Mas’ pictures are not representational landscapes, rather he tries to free his mind from any intention when he paints.  But, like suiseki, the resulting images evoke the natural world and bring it into our human life. 

Space: Sunrise, 2/24/2009; 24
Space: Sunrise, 2/24/2009; 24"x48", oil on panel
click the photo to see more paintings

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Old Friends, New Faces III

August 16, 2008

Mas will be sowing his latest suiseki art sculpture and two paintings in the next show at Triangle Gallery, Old Friends, New Faces III.

Old Friends, New Faces III
August 26, 2008 – September 27, 2008
Reception September 6, 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Triangle Gallery
47 Kearny Street, San Francisco, CA 94108
Tel. 415.392.1686

Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.


Painting: “Winter Blue”;2008;48″ x 24″;Oil paint on wood board
Sculpture: “Great Land” (大地 Daichi), 2008; W 45″ x D 16″ x H 9″; Stone and paint on wood board (deodar cedar)

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Time Will Tell

April 5, 2008

“Winter Blue”; 2008; 48″ x 24″; Oil paint on wood board

The next show at the Triangle Gallery, Time Will Tell, will run April 15-May 31 and includes selected artwork from Gallery Artists. Mas will exhibit two paintings and one suiseki art sculpture. (You can click on the photo to see a slideshow of all three pieces).

These past few months have been kind of exciting for me. Mas has been making some real advances in his technique and style with spray paint on wood, and it seems like almost every day there’s a new painting to study and critique. Winter Blue is one of my favorites. I look at it every morning while I drink my tea.

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Something old, something new

January 23, 2008

We held the Bay Island Bonsai 9th annual exhibit this past weekend, and for the third year in a row Mas was a guest exhibitor. Boon gives him free rein to do whatever he wants, so last year he made an entirely contemporary display with his Suiseki Art piece “Akebono”. This year Mas chose to combine a very traditional suiban display with one of his recent paintings. After creating the display, he titled it “Silence” (静寂 seijaku).

When we were creating this display Mas first tried a more traditional approach, using a calligraphy scroll that his mother had given us. The scroll has the character 然 (zen) which comes from the word shizen, or “nature”. It didn’t look good – the calligraphy was very strong and overpowered the stone, stealing all the attention. On top of that, the meaning of calligraphy is an essential part of it – you aren’t using it just for its visual appearance. Something essential is lost if the great majority of viewers don’t know the meaning.

So we started looking at some of Mas’ recent paintings from last summer. This painting was not made with any intention of displaying it with a suiseki, but when we tried it with this stone and suiban we realized how well they complemented each other.

Mas deliberately avoided giving a descriptive name or label to either the stone or painting . Having a description such as “coastal rock” or “waterpool” limits the viewer’s own imagination. For me, this display is a memory of morning on the Klamath river, surrounded by forest, with the mist rising off the water. For a fellow BIB member (of more practical bent perhaps) the painting seemed like a micrograph of the stone itself.

Having a suiseki display among bonsai gives a moment’s rest while going though the exhibit. In the midst of the trees is a quiet clearing where you can gather your thoughts and go on refreshed.

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