top of page


mixed media on canvas, 100 x 120 cm

Toshio Hosokawa compares music to calligraphy. That was the angle of approach visual artist George De Decker – himself also an acclaimed composer – took to create a series of works inspired by Hosokawa string quartets.


In February 2014, when the Concertgebouw commissions George De Decker to create new visual work to music by Toshio Hosokawa, he withdraws into his studio. But not immediately to paint. First he selects one of Hosokawa’s compositions, ‘Silent Flowers’, a work from 1998, brilliantly performed by the Arditti Quartet.


In his studio in Sint-Katelijne-Waver he then hangs a series of blank canvasses (100/120 cm) on the wall. Brushes and tubes of paint remain untouched; first he has to listen. Time after time, Hosokawa’s music fills the space, until the string quartets – from sound to image – find their translation on the white canvas.

_MG_2163 - versie 2.JPG

That De Decker draws his inspiration from Hosokawa’s music-as-calligraphy metaphor is no accident. Himself already always fascinated by Japanese art, he paints almost ‘calligraphically’, in paint and Indian ink, with broad, confident strokes, using the brush the same way it was used in the original Chinese and Japanese calligraphy. There calligraphers use a ‘broad brush’: a brush that draws a fine stroke crosswise and a broad stroke lengthwise.


The result is a series of four canvasses, which together form a quartet. He groups these mixed-technique canvasses together under the title: ‘Fragmente – Stille’, a title borrowed from Luigi Nono’s composition Fragmente-Stille, An Diotima (1979 – 1980) for string quartet – a work also appreciated by composer Toshio Hosokawa.


© Guido De Bruyn

_MG_2246 - versie 2.JPG

George De Decker and Toshio Hosokawa 

with Jeroen Vanacker at Concertgebouw, Brugge (B)

Music : George De  Decker

Clarinet, violin, cello, piano & soundtrack (2009)  

Raf De Keninck (clarinet)
Hans Vankerckhoven (violin)
Thomas Fruhauf (cello)
Erwin Deleux (piano)

Ward Weis (soundengineer)

bottom of page