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Having spent six years living and working in Japan, Rebecca Salter has been greatly influenced by both the Hazegawa School of Painting and traditional Asian calligraphy, each of which are canonically conceived in three-dimensional terms. Unsurprisingly, especially due to her previous occupation as a potter, Salter thus considers the painting to have inherent depth rather than to be a two-dimensional surface. ‘KK55’ is no exception.
Vertical and horizontal planes structure the work by creating a sense of depth or landscape in an otherwise abstract composition, though they are often revealed from beneath the surface. By accumulating layers of pigment and then scraping lines away to reveal negative space, Salter engages with the Japanese concept of ‘wabi’, or ‘in want’. According to Salter, “In Japanese art there is no directional light, therefore no shadows… The [scraped] lines are not for reading or explaining–they are entities in a dialogue with the surface and color.” The viewer is thus encouraged to wander in the narrative space, finding their own story to tell in its abstraction.