SUGAI Kumi 菅井汲
In 1919, he was born in Kobe. After learning at Osaka school of arts and crafts of fine arts, he started to work at Hankyu Corp. (Railroad Corp.) as a commercial designer in 1937.
He went to France at 1952. Then he received a high evaluation in the art world in Paris because his works included oriental exoticism. At that time, he had been portraying something like the hieroglyph affected by Art informel. However, he changed his style around 1962, then started to produce the series of “auto-route”, which is the art of geometrical form with clear color.
From 1970’s, his works consisted of the combination of rings and straight lines, which became simpler and less idle. The motifs were intertwined almost mechanically, and each motif was drawn correctly. There was something common with the road sign that should be grasped by a driver in an instant during high-speed running.
He tried to cut waste even in his daily life, therefore the menu of the breakfast, the lunch and the dinner were fixed. He kept eating the same menu for 20 years.
In his later years, he kept drawing a series of “S”, which had the meaning of the curve of freeway as well as a “SUGAI” one “S”.
He asked himself “Why can’t I keep drawing the same
picture?”. His answer to the question was the act that keeps drawing the same pattern was distinctive.