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Mao Hamaguchi’s Portraits of Girls Behind Lace

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 peeking through veils or shrouds and lace curtains. The symbol of lace is used throughout Hamaguchi's art. Lace is a sensual fabric, often associated with intimacy and pleasure, as well as wealth, once among a household's most prized possessions. Hamaguchi embraces all of its nuances, using them to emphasize the qualities of womanhood.


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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 peeking through veils or shrouds and lace curtains. The symbol of lace is used throughout Hamaguchi’s art. Lace is a sensual fabric, often associated with intimacy and pleasure, as well as wealth, once among a household’s most prized possessions. Hamaguchi embraces all of its nuances, using them to emphasize the qualities of womanhood. Neither children nor adult, the teen girls in her paintings are at an inbetween-age, when their future is full of possibility and also uncertainty. With a spectrum of implications in their lacey environment, Hamaguchi suggests the layers of her subjects’ complexity.

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