Floating Strokes is an exhibition of new works by Yu Kawakita, Nao Matsumoto and Nobuhiro Nakanishi, three young Japanese artists who participated in last year's successful group show Senjiru-Infusion. Galerie Kashya Hildebrand is pleased to give these artists from Kansai a platform to show their most recent work.
Kawakita, Matsumoto und Nakanishi work with very different media and techniques, but share their interest in everyday phenomena and how we perceive them. Depicting the ephemeral and the fleetingness of life and nature form the inspiration for many of these artworks. The quiet and meditative artworks endow these invisible and ungraspable phenomena with forms which allow us to ponder these topic and at the same time be confronted with our own transience in a subtle and unobtrusive way. The artists not only raise questions about the perception of reality but also about the formal conceptions of space and the void.
Yu Kawaki ta (*1982 in Kyoto, Japan)
Yu Kawakita's paintings are the result of a symbolic as well as physical engagement with water. Water acts as a metaphor for constant change and the natural cycle of life, but also water acts as a decisive factor in the creation of a painting. Kawakita applies paint on a very thin layer of water covering the primed surface and lets the movement of the water and its own evaporation codetermine the creation process. Using this technique, which she has refined over the years, Kawakita manages to capture the rhythm of nature in the seemingly fleeting yet very precisely composed colour structures. Her works, based on ink, oil or acrylic paint, defy all limitations of traditional painting by going beyond the mere depiction of a certain subject or an abstract idea, but instead by capturing the physical event and creation process between artist and media.
Nao Matsumoto (*1975 in Hyogo, Japan)
The works of Nao Matsumoto are often inspired by archetypes in the form of myths, legends or beliefs in an afterlife which can be found in different cultures from all around the world. Woven into her paintings they form a rich fabric of colours and forms without any focus on a particular narrative moment or element. Rather they evoke and conjure up worlds from the subconscious, which are removed from any sense of place and time. Her flat painting style and the all-over ornamentation reference classical Japanese painting traditions. At first glance many of Matsumoto's works appear to be abstract paintings or purely decorative until a closer look reveals a multilayered web of figurative elements, which together reminds us of the connectivity and unity of all natural things. The viewer discovers many different figures, whose outlines can only be seen and understood as part of a larger whole. Our own human existence is only a brief moment in the great cycle of life which is determined by a constant flux of creation and dissolution.
Nobuhiro Nakanishi (*1976 in Fukuoka, Japan)
Space and spatiality play a central role in Nakanishi's two- and three-dimensional works. His main interest lies in gaps and blanks - be they of a physical or chronological nature - and their effect on the viewer. In his Stripe Drawings spaces and gaps become composed as an infinite number of lines drawn in pencil consolidate into an image. The void and image alternate depending on the viewer's changing point of view and perception. These lines and spaces create shapes which seem to encroach upon each other, yet co-exist harmoniously. Nakanishi's Layer Drawings depict the often overlooked and unnoticed changes in our everyday lives such as a sunrise or a melting ice cream. Nakanishi captures these changes in chronologically sequenced photographs in his sculptures and allows the viewer to experience the ephemerality of time. The viewer instinctively fills the chronological and spatial gaps with his or her own memories and physical experiences thereby sharing the fleeting experience of time and space with the artist.