ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
Have you ever experienced being drawn into the space within a painting and sensing the transient atmosphere that the work conveys?
The Japanese artist, Junko O’Neill, presents a thought-provoking and comprehensive body of work with her first solo exhibition in London, entitled ‘Fragments of Time’ at GV Art gallery on Chiltern Street.
The work of figurative and abstract paintings as well as 3D pieces are all inspired by the space/time concept of ‘Ma’, which is unique to Japanese culture. The concept considers space as fundamentally void: only space itself is deemed to be eternal and everything that fills the space is of a transient nature.
With her figurative work, O’Neill frames the moment within her paintings. Here, the space is not frozen but captured with a sense of time passing. Viewers will find themselves overlapping with the figure, which is painted in the foreground, standing still and contemplating. O’Neill says, “I don’t consider my figurative painting that of a figure. My primary interest is the space itself. The figure, back facing towards us, is only a vehicle to take the viewer into the space.” She explores the concept in other forms: she paints the ‘framed’ moment in abstract form and traps the space in her 3D work with intricate origami crane pieces.
Aside from the concept of ‘Ma’, O’Neill also sources ideas for her figurative paintings from her imagination and Japanese literature such as Haruki Murakami’s novels. She finds these novels and her work share the same sense of time passing within the space.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Junko O’Neill was born in Tokyo. She received a BA in English and American Literature from Rikkyo University, Tokyo and a BA and a MA in Fine Art Painting at Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton. Her work, ‘Dissolved’, shown above, was shortlisted for the Celeste Prize (Painting) in 2011. She now lives and works in Winchester, Hampshire. O’Neill’s work can also be seen at Debut Contemporary.
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