Ohshima Fine Art is delighted to present three representative figures in contemporary East Asian art at the 2017 Seattle Art Fair—Katsunori MIYAGI (b. 1963), Munenori TAMAGAWA (b. 1972) and Asami MARUYAMA (b. 1987).
Katsunori MIYAGI, who we introduced at last year’s exhibition, primarily uses the motifs of children and “ghostly spirits” to carefully illustrate those things which cannot be seen or are often overlooked in everyday life, due to the constraints that rationality tends to exercise upon our sense of vision. His canvasses appear at once flat; yet at the same time possess a buoyancy and transience that invite the observer back into the unending depths of memory.
Munenori TAMAGAWA has a slightly unorthodox background. He was already over 30 when he started to paint, initially as rehabilitation from a psychological illness. His works draw their inspiration from personal everyday memories, but the images he creates from them make a departure from reality and appear on the canvass as a unique form of graffiti. His art enlists a wide variety of materials and techniques, and with its vibrant colors and bold lines, it emanates an affirmative energy that unconditionally celebrates life.
Asami MARUYAMA is an embroidery artist who skillfully depicts through needlework the everyday existences of office workers and shoppers—the ordinary everymen and women who populate the modern day city. With a delicate touch and charming designs, the artist humorously captures the duality of tension and relaxation that characterizes urban life. Additionally, through the medium of stitchwork, her works create a sense of space and perspective than differs from that of traditional painting.
All three artists made their debuts without having received any formal art training. This commonality also sees them being often overlooked in the world of mainstream contemporary fine art. However, the culture they represent, which was born out of Japanese street art and subculture—peripheral both in geographical and culturally hierarchical terms—has the potential to inject new life into contemporary fine art and free it from the bounds of traditionally prescribed values.
For the first time in history, modern science has come to accept that the world we live in is one of unpredictable chaos, and that it is precisely within that complex web of connections that new possibilities are waiting to be discovered. In this year’s exhibition booth, Ohshima Fine Art will draw together three independent creative forces into one chaotic amalgamation and reveal what the existing authority of traditional art history has continued to cast into the shadows. All three artists have consistently enthused visitors at previous exhibitions both domestic and abroad, and are hotly anticipated to create new waves in the world of contemporary fine art. The works of these three artists, who have all emerged not from the academy’s incubation bed but from the wild, will enthrall the discerning eyes of visitors from Seattle and beyond, and remind them of the unlimited potential of their own vision.