TODA Tôshirô

(Japan 1953 – )

Remembered window II

Not on display
Further information

The theme of windows and walls has fascinated Toda for some time. Windows link the outside and the inside; they are the conduits to dreams and fantasy. However the window is defined by the two worlds on either side of it: darkness on both sides silences the window's existence.

In this print, the glowing light beyond the window and the concreteness of the wall to the right, create a metaphor for Zen enlightenment. According to Zen teaching, Bodhidharma, the Indian prince who brought the doctrine of Chan (or Zen) Buddhism to China in the early sixth century and who is revered as the First Patriarch of Zen, attained his enlightenment after nine years of implacable wall gazing. In Chan texts 'wall gazing' became a metaphor for the inexplicable suddenness of enlightenment. Toda evokes this association through the quietude and mysticism of his image.

Toda now lives in Tokyo. He was born in Aichi Prefecture and educated at the Musashino Art University and the Sokei Academy of Fine Arts. He lived in France for a while and this experience deeply affected his own work.

Jackie Menzies, Contemporary Japanese Prints: The Urban Bonsai, 1992, pg. 93.

Place of origin
Japan: Heisei period 1989–
etching and aquatint
45.5 x 60.0 cm image;57.0 x 70.0 cm sheet
Signature & date

Signed and dated l.r., pencil "Toda Toshiro '90".

Gift of the artist 1993
Accession number