Chie Yoshii’s latest exhibition at Roq La Rue in Seattle took its title from a quote by Carl Jung: “Human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.” Titled “In the Darkness of Mere Being,” her new series of paintings was heavily influenced by the ideas of this pioneering psychologist.
Part of Jung’s approach to understanding human behavior entailed deriving archetypes from Greek and Roman mythology. Mythological themes pervade Yoshii’s lush, color-saturated paintings, as well. Each piece focuses on a different female protagonist (all of their faces have an uncanny resemblance to Botticelli’s Venus, another Classical reference). One character who strokes a bull’s face evokes the legend of Europa, whom Zeus attempted to seduce in the guise of a bull. A winged, androgynous hunter flying alongside an owl recalls Athena, the goddess of wisdom.
Yoshii’s “In the Darkness of Mere Being” is on view July 3 through August 2 and will be exhibited alongside Casey Curran’s “Indeterminate Apotheosis.” Take a look at some of the work in the show below.