David Lynch: Hand of Dreams


“Hello to the people of Japan…”

The 8th floor of an upmarket shopping mall in Shibuya is not exactly the first place you’d expect to hear David Lynch’s voice, but there it is, quietly looping on a wall-mounted TV in the corner of the room. Erratic yet hypnotic, it’s a voice that is almost cartoonish in nature – and one that sits in stark contrast to the darkness of his work.

David Lynch is my favourite director. I first saw Eraserhead by mistake when I was 18, flicking between channels at about 2am after a night out. I had no idea what the hell it was I was watching – but it completely blew my mind. The next morning I checked the TV listings and that’s how I discovered a whole new world of barren landscapes, industrial soundscapes and dreamy ambiance. For me, Lynch does with film what Beckett does with words: using vast emptiness to create twisted visions of our own reality.

Like his films, Lynch’s paintings convey a sense of unease that is difficult to put a finger on. In this exclusive exhibition of unseen work, 10 lithographs and 12 watercolours are plainly displayed – no frills. Painted with his fingers, they are dark, unsettling and strangely beautiful.

These days, the quiffed legend seems to be more content with promoting transcendental meditation – as well as his own brand of coffee – than making movies. But at least exhibitions such as this remind us that he’s still around – and still as creative as ever.

As the Lady in the Radiator would sing: In Tokyo, everything is fine…

David Lynch’s Hand of Dreams runs until 23 July at the Tomio Koyama Gallery, Shibuya.

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