William Josh Beck

A song of ink (Un chant d'encre)

William-Josh BECK is a contemporary artist working abstraction in ink on paper using traditional techniques, having been trained in Japan in the avant-garde calligraphic approach of the Jojō 抒情 movement.

Drawing on the potential of his musical practice, his work is developed through a transmission of the energy of the sound flow in the brush stroke. In a variation on black and white, it is no longer a question of painting what can be seen, but what can be heard: fixing a trace of the sound rather than the visible.

Painting what can be heard offers a path to being, through the dissolution of the self and intentionality in sound. Against all appearance, the opposite of an absence, since the gesture proceeds from a full presence at the heart of a continuous moment. In this dynamic, plastic creation is not about producing a thing, but about giving witness, a glimpse of the gaping scene of being.

As opposed to a calligraphic logic, sound as support for the outpouring of being in the line leaves free the occurrence of all that is possible, and in no way codifies the form of what there is. Abstraction stripped of all meaning thus presents itself as a raw trace.

His studio practice extends to live ink painting performances, in conjunction with the public's choice of music, or in association with musicians. A dialogue is established between the instrument and the brush, with the painting emerging from the music, and the music springing from the graphic dimension of the painted work, which can be read like a score.

W.J. Beck's artistic work extends to video: he transforms his inks into moving landscapes through filtering and tracking shots. The image is interwoven to sound compositions whose material, originating in the music which gave birth to the painted work, is shaped into an abstract auditory journey. This mise en abyme gives rise to immersive visual and acoustic propositions thar retain the hypnotic, meditative dimension that characterises his paintings.

Living and working in the heart of a preserved environment, between sea and forest, his practice is in harmony with this ecosystem through the use of natural materials: water, soot ink, charcoal, softwood or mulberry paper. The elements, air, water, earth and fire, thus infuse his universe.