The faultless lines and blatantly neat composition incites a sense of enigma in Noriyuki Nakayama's New Mind (lot 558). The delicate yet sweeping brushstrokes are strongly rooted in the artist's training as a traditional Japanese painter. Painting with the technicality of his predecessors, the texture and contours of her face are only distinguishable by the smooth gradation of colours. It is only upon close examination that we can see the subtle blushing of her cheeks and the small bridge of her nose. The combination of the precise painting of an ancient Japanese tradition and unique cropping of this woman's portrait makes Nakayama a novel contemporary painter.
At first glance of the painting, the viewer is instantaneously mesmerized by the intricate and depth of her pupils. The vivid descriptive details of the pupils are manifested with diligently ordered lines resulting in an insensate expression of the eyes, counteracted by the shimmering of the pupils. In both the eyes and her plush lips, Nakayama utilizes his traditional techniques to create tangibility in her facial features. The simplistic and innocent portrayal of the woman highly resembles an animation, enhanced by the matte yet vivid characteristic that acrylic paint supplies. Unlike his contemporaries, this animated quality is not forceful but gentle, possibly due to his conceptual technique of projecting a mental landscape of female figures, rather than an objective portrait.
The artist consistently extracts inspiration from his memory thus generating a nostalgic aura whereby even the viewer can imagine him or herself replacing Nakayama in this memory. Nakayama oddly enthralls the viewer with this minimalist image by creating a profoundly serene image by an absence of contextual subjects and environment. There is no explicit narrative conveyed by the artist, rather we as viewers are obliged to employ our imagination to re-create the story behind this painting, thereby delving into the memory banks of the artist.