Dreams are considered important, real, and public in some cultures, but absurd, irrational and personal in others. Japan has its own history of dreaming, and the importance of dreams has evolved through Japanese supernatural beliefs and art for centuries. “Dreams are like strange stories,” says Tokyo based artist Atsuko Goto, who builds on her own visions of dreams in her other-worldly mixed media drawings. “I draw what comes up from our unconscious, like hidden feelings reflected in our dreams.”
Numbers of women artists still rank low in gallery rosters, less than 50 percent, across the world. With the exception of a few like Yayoi Kusama and Yoko Ono, women in the Japanese contemporary art world have yet to earn equal recognition. This is largely due to the historical conception that women were not suited to become professional artists. A new exhibition at Jiro Miura Gallery in Tokyo is bringing awareness to 19 emerging international women artists. “Ephemeral: Territory of Girls”, which opened on July 25th, showcases new works by Jana Brike, Amy Crehore, Virginia Mori, Ania Tomicka, Emi Adachi, Fuco Ueda, Kaori Ogawa, Miki Kato, Kimi Kuruhara, Kozue Kuroki, Satomi Kuwahara, Atsuko Goto, Yuka Sakuma, Minae Takada, Tsubaki Torii, Yumi Nakai, Yuko Nagami, Yuki Nagayoshi, Mao Hamaguchi, Miho Hirano, Shiori Matsumoto, Eri Mizuno, and Yuko Murai.
The materials of Atsuko Goto’s otherworldy paintings are as intriguing as her subject matter. Her pigments are made from semi-precious Lapis-lazuli and gum arabic, which helps her create her hazy, subdued palette. While decidedly dark, there is a softness in her portrayal of ethereal beauties, loosely based on Izanami-no-Mikoto or the goddess of creation and death.