Christine Swam Amongst the Fishes 2

©Julian Opie

Julian Opie
Christine Swam Amongst the Fishes 2
250.0 x 250.0 cm
vinyl on aluminum stretcher

Julian Opie is a British artist of the British New Sculpture Movement in the 80s who graduated from Goldsmiths University, London. Influenced by Japanese Ukiyoe painting and Manga, his work has been exhibited internationally.

Christine swimming together with the school of tropical fish, the work looks like a postcard. Nonetheless, the fish and herself are depicted minimally - only using black/white and simple lines that thickness slightly vary.

The work is based on the artist’s trip to Bali island and blurs the border between 2D and 3D dimension; each flat fish faces different directions which a viewer follows where they are and look at. This mode of viewing itself creates a depth within the flat surface, making the viewer feel as though they are in the deep sea.

The work is square shaped and resembles a window - connecting there (somewhere so far in a tropical region) and here (where a viewer is; a gallery), the sea and earth. Paradoxically, since Christina and the fish look alike and the sea turns out merely a single coloured flat surface, the viewer is taken deep into the sea while simultaneously is pushed away from it.

Created by computer techniques, the work reminds us of video games from the 90s. Reality and imagination are intermingled, the work alters our perception and questions a linearly defined time/space.

(Commentary & Translation: Asako Ujita)