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Tomio Nitto


Re-visit is an exhibition of pencil and water-colour drawings by Tomio Nitto. The artwork originates from an idea of re-examining and re-working from old sketch books - a second visit to places and things he encountered and recorded years ago. Only this time the sketches were done in the comfort of the artist's home.

A native from Japan, Nitto came to live and work in Toronto as an illustrator for over 35 years. One of the reasons he chose to stay in Toronto is his love of nature, which abounds in Canada. He leads a simple life and shuns technology. Instead of using a camera he prefers to snap with his pencil and brush. The series of drawings from Re-visit is based on previous sketches of Toronto and its environs: Cherry Beach, Leslie Street Spit, Don River, Lake Shore and around Peterborough. During the process of re-drawing, Nitto noted that the observation was tighter, and certain subtraction and addition took place. It was almost like an exercise of repeating an experience and at the same time re-living it. The drawings look the same but they are clones not by technology but the human hand.

Nitto is deeply influenced by the philosophy of Lao Zi and Zhuang Zi (Chinese sage and philosopher circa 4th Century BC) and the spirit of traditional Japanese paintings, which stresses on emptiness is fullness. Most of his compositions are spare and minimal. Nitto insists that his drawings are direct, simple daily life observations and require no further interpretation and complicated thinking. They are quiet, straightforward reflections filling one's heart with simple delight.

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