The meaning behind ‘Patagraphy’

15 May 2019

Heathcote Museum and Gallery invites the community to discover the unique work of artist Hiroshi Kobayashi in its newest exhibition

Heathcote Museum and Gallery invites the community to discover the unique work of artist Hiroshi Kobayashi in its newest exhibition The outside within \ the inside without.

To describe his singular art-making process and his aim to map the space between the internal mind and the external world, Kobayashi coined the term ‘Patagraphy’. For this exhibition, Kobayashi has created a new series of paintings inspired by the landscape and buildings at Heathcote. Displayed along the gallery wall, Kobayashi’s paintings metaphorically create windows on the wall, exploring the relationship between the inside and outside, the internal and external. 

“Kobayashi’s inventive and unique artwork is very exciting,” said City of Melville Mayor, Russell Aubrey.

“I think the community is in for a real treat with Kobayashi’s exhibition at Heathcote Cultural Precinct, featuring his works coined as ‘Patagraphy’.”

To create the paintings for this exhibition, Kobayashi developed his own mechanical device by combining a cutting plotter with a pneumatic dispenser. The cutting plotter, now repurposed into a new painting plotter, marks out points for paint and dispenses acrylic dots onto the canvas. The resulting image is a continuous reflection of the calibrated movement of the device and the unpredictable way the needle makes physical contact with the canvas.

For Kobayashi, this method is better able to capture the movement and feeling of a ‘duration’ - -- something a photograph cannot do. Kobayashi believes there is a strong affinity between photographs and the way we perceive the world, however, photographs are often too ‘flat’ to represent the unique personality of a subject and unable to capture the interactive movements of a duration.

Kobayashi determined he needed a name for this new device starting with the letter ‘P’, since it was a consequence of the idea of combining Painting, Printing, Plotting, Photography and Photogrammetry. Thus the term Patagraphy was born; a compound word consisting of Alfred Jarry’s Pataphysics (the imagined realm additional to metaphysics) and -graph (an instrument for recording). Pata also means ‘canvas’ in Sanskrit, and ‘foot’ in Spanish, which reminds him of the continuity of dots resembling a patting rhythm and the accumulation of footprints during a walk.

The exhibition will officially open on Friday, 14 June 2019 at 6.00pm and will continue to run at the Heathcote Museum and Gallery from Saturday, 15 June to Sunday, 21 July 2019. Members of the public wishing to attend the opening should RSVP by Tuesday, 11 June to or phone 9364 5666. The galleries normal opening hours are Tuesday to Friday 10.00am to 3.00pm, Saturday and Sunday 12noon to 4.00pm.

For more information, visit or contact 1300 635 845 | 9364 0666.

Image: Hiroshi Kobayashi, The cumulonimbus cloud, 2019, acrylic on canvas, 38.2 x 53.2cm

Artist’s contact details are available upon request

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