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 "Ghost in the Machine"

Works in unit 4 offers the view of the ghost I feel or see. 

The concept 'ghost' is from the context of a British author Arthur Koestler and a British philosopher Gilbert Ryle. Arthur Koestler expressed our life is "The ghost in the machine" in his book. Which means the consciousness or mind carried in a physical entity. (1975)
He mentioned our mind/ consciousness is a ghost possesses on the mechanical body depended on the concept of mind by a philosopher Gilbert Ryle. My main idea of ghost series is to show the living existence of the ghost throughout the painting. In the other words, to externalise the ghost existing in the underworld/ unconsciousness as a painting.

Gilbert Ryle mentioned about mind/ghost:

"every human being has both a body and a mind. His body and his mind are ordinarily harnessed together." (1949, Ryle, pp13)
"Human bodies are in space and are subject to the mechanical laws which govern all other bodies in space." (1949, Ryle, pp13)

"Even when 'inner' and 'outer' are constructed as metaphors, the problem how a person's mind and body influence one another is notoriously charged with theoretical difficulties. What the mind wills, the legs, arms and the tongue execute: what affects the ear and the eye has something to do with what the mind perceives." (1949, Ryle, pp14)
"only through the medium of the public physical world can the mind of one person make a difference to the mind of another. The mind is its own place and in his inner life each of us lives the life of a ghostly Robinson Crusoe. People can see, hear and deaf to the workings of one another's mind and inoperative upon them." (1949, Ryle , pp15)

The thing is,  there are mechanical laws which govern all other bodies in space that time and space. What has physical experience is composed of matter, or else is a function of a matter. On the other hand, mental existence is not in mechanical laws limited by time and space. Life is the status which the ghost/mind in its own space and the body/machine physically in the space and time are harnessed together. Arthur Koestler described Ryle's definition of life as 'the ghost in the machine' (1967, Koestler).

Additionally, Gilbert Ryle stated:

"a person is generally supposed to be able to exercise from time to time a special kind of perception, namely inner perception, or introspection. He can take a (non-optical) 'look' at what is passing in his mind." ( 1949, Ryle , pp16)


This account reminded me some experiences.  In childhood it often happened that suddenly come into the different world and listen the weird voice or see the weird view which doesn't exist in real. I thought that could be the ghost in his meaning, and started the effort to visualise my experience about the ghost. The result of my effort is the ghost series.


Painting method

As a specific painting method for the ghost series, those were mostly painted by hand but not brushes. In the painting process of that series, I've put place on copying the image I captured by the inner view as much as exactly. I didn't use any visual references to paint, so I needed to quickly depict on canvas what I saw before the memory fades. While reprying the process, I noticed that paint by hand is the quickest and rational way to capture the inner view because nothing keeps me away from the canvas. Inner view, the weird world which spreads inside of me was traced directly on to the canvas via my body through hands. 

Ghost I and II


 Ghost I, 2019, 200x280(cm), oil on canvas.


Ghost II,2019, 166x166(cm),

oil on canvas.

Ghost I and II are actively connecting each other.

In my inner view, those two paintings were one. The sun in Ghost 1 popped up to left side top and dropped into the water in Ghost 2; a white bird is flying through Ghost 1 to 2. On the other hand, the soul of deer-like unidentified creatures died at right side down in Ghost 1 goes to Ghost 2 by running through the world I Ghost one. In Ghost 2, they walk on the light wave made by the sun dropped, and then finally they become a part of water. The water flows on Ghost 1 as a wave. 

​​About the painting, these are traced images in my mind, so I am not sure what I painted precisely. However, I suppose the water in those works indicates the roots of life. The reason why I think is,  while I was working on those two, was also working on another work "Kepler 2 18-b": visualising exoplanet from astronomical data. It is the collaboration work with astronomers, my collaborator has been researching about the exo-planet, and he believes the planet has water like the earth. Water for us is a standard element covers on the earth, but it does not easily exist on other planets because water can survive only a limited situation that not too hot, not too cold and not too dry. Also, water on the planet represents the possibility of life in there. To construct the image of water planet" Kepler 2 18-b", I listened to the sound of many planets to compare the earth, Jupiter, Mars, and so on. Then I noticed the speciality of the earth. In contrast to other planets sounds like electromagnetic noise, most of the sound on the earth was from water and lives, being. That made me strongly recognise all life is nourished by water, and it impressed the respect for water deep in my mind.  I guess the water depiction in Ghost 1 and 2 unconsciously came out from the awe to mother water.


K2 18-b,2019

​80x80(cm), oil on canvas.

​The curation and installation


Regard with the curation of work in unit 4 in the show; I focused on to build a space which is independent and separated from outside the world /reality. Someone said I want to make a threshold by painting. I have had a conscious of I am living by standing on between real and ghostly world. I desire to externalise the divine of the unseen world I saw and reconstruct it in real. ​In the show, I tried realising ambition. 

To produce a space separated from the outside world, I filled the floor with soil. The soil has a critical effect for human five senses, for example, the smell and skin and foot sensation. By bringing the soil texture into a part of the room, people confuse between the sense of indoor and outdoor. I experienced the confusion in the last BA degree show an indoor space filled with soil. I adapted the idea to my work.


I consciously displayed the small number of works for the size of the room which two big and two tiny works. I considered the space each single of work occupies beyond the canvas size, putted them in the correct distance to all works finely coexist. 

The feather on the soil indicates the track a white bird in painting passed through. The white bird is depicted in the all works exhibited in my space, it flies left to right in the room via paintings. If people trace the feather and look up the painting, they can find the bird easily. The reason why I used actual feather is that I wanted to obscure the real world and the world in the painting. That is the message that the world in painting could be just an image, but could be there.

Also,  I remembered in the reading session with Mark, there was a discussion why artwork is normally stored in the inside the wall. I was inspired by the matter, then I deeply desired to take free treatment for paintings without being bound by fixed concepts or format, the treatment of painting in the show is one of the answer. My answer is that the matter is not whether the work being in inside or outside the wall, but artwork produces the space. If the work has a strong potential, it attracts the best location by itself. For example, when I completed Ghost I and II​, the final display naturally came up in my mind. Artist's job is to provide what art demands. The curation in the show made me recognise it.

Small works


A white elephant and a white bird in the forest

15x15(cm), oil on canvas.

IMG_0002 2.jpg

A white bird 

10x10(cm), oil on canvas.

Those works are drawing belonging to the main works. The image of an elephant in the sunny forest came up with my mind when I was working on Ghost Ⅱ. Firstly I thought that vision is a part of Ghost 2, but I couldn't see any connection in those, so I painted the elephant image separately. The bird one is the initial image of the bird, which is flying upside the Ghost 1. I wanted to capture the freshness because those two images were particularly beautiful in what I saw while working on ghost series. In the meditation/ the process of calling the painting image, I saw hundreds of stories and pictures. I captured them as much as possible in paintings. However, I have missed many visions because they switch to the next in a moment. The images I captured in Ghost I and II are the active images that appeared repeatedly. The elephant and the bird just seemed once, but the beauty impressed me a lot. I hoped to externalise them.

In the display, those two works are working as a description of the way a white bird passed. The bird appears as "A white bird", and finally it terminates at the branch beside the white elephant in "A white elephant and a bird in the forest" via Ghost I and II. I didn't see any bird in the elephant view, but I add the bird to make the connection in all paintings and to play with paint. Such the little, but playful elements is what I learned from the course.

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