They are “the girls behind the lace.” This is how Okinawa based painter Mao Hamaguchi describes the young subjects of her romantic paintings. Her Gothic Art inspired images are painted in a soft and delicate style, where we find Contemporary aristocratic girls bathing, peeking through cathedral gates and lace curtains. The symbol of lace is used throughout Hamaguchi’s art. Lace is a sensual fabric, often associated with intimacy and pleasure, however in Hamaguchi’s work, it emphasizes beauty and grace.
Four years have passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake which continues to have a significant impact on the nation of Japan and its artists. On March 11th, the anniversary of the disaster, Mizuma Art Gallery presented “Howl”, an exhibition of elaborate pencil drawings by Mikiko Kumazawa. Kumazawa’s latest works reflect on the past four years, and her own personal emotional interpretation of the event. Collectively, here is an image of human nature’s strength and weakness in the face of uncontrollable forces. Take a look at “Howl” after the jump!
Tomokazu Matsuyama’s (Vol 24) third exhibition at Wendi Norris, which opens on March 12th, is a monument to some of art history’s most iconic subjects. The title “Come with me” represents the spirit of Matsuyama’s inspirations, powerful leaders spanning ancient Greek heroes, samurai, to Napoleon. Napoleon has been of particular interest to the artist of late, the subject of his “Sky is the Limit” installation at Harbour City Gallery, Hong Kong last year.
It’s not manga. This is the starting point of a conversation that Yoshitomo Nara will host today about his debut solo exhibition in Hong Kong, “Life is Only One.” The show opened last night at the Asia Society, named after Nara’s painting “Life is Only One!”, featuring a child holding a skull as he contemplates life. In a recent interview, Nara shared, “When I was a child, the word “life” itself, of course, was a foreign concept. After turning 50, however, and with the deaths of people close to me and with the recent earthquake, I started to think about life more realistically – the limits of life, and the importance of what one can accomplish during that time.”
Back in 2012, latex artist Saeborg (pronounced Cyborg) announced that his dream was to make an entire farm made of rubber. His current show at Tomonotsu Museum in Hirsoshima, Japan realizes that vision. It was previously shown at Takashi Murakami’s Zingaro space in Nakano, a mecca for comics, toys and cosplay- Saeborg’s inspiration.
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.