Onishi Gallery is honored to present “Draw the Line!,” a special exhibition of Aqua Art Miami 2016. Aqua Art Miami is a sister fair to Art Miami, showcasing emerging and mid-career artists and galleries. Attracting an international slate of artists and publics, this dynamic event brings together creators, collectors, curators, and art appreciators to share traditions and exchange ideas. At this vibrant affair, Onishi Gallery will represent two celebrated Japanese artists whose work exemplifies the ability to draw lines, literal and figurative, between ancient and contemporary styles, actual and imaginary geographies, and familiar and strange imagery.
NAOYA (b. 1958) began his artistic career in Japan by assisting his father, Nagae Rokuya, a major figurative sculptor who worked in wood. Nurturing his creativity in this familial context, NAOYA soon cultivated his own style and creative concepts, shaping representational figures that express his own philosophical worldview, while still working in wood. NAOYA populates the imaginary world that he designs, which he calls POLY KANTEN, with fairy-like children, animals with human personalities, and animistic goddesses. The creatures are all related, he says, although each one has its own reason for being. The monochromatic figures, painted entirely in white, silver, and bronze, stare at viewers with curious and blank expressions, begging for questions about the fantastical worlds they inhabit. Believing in the possibility and potential of multiple universes, NAOYA creates these characters from another world to visit with us here on Earth. The presence of his creations draw lines that separate these multiple universes, but more importantly, it also draws a line that connects them. Highlighted in this special exhibition will be PEPO, a mushroom-head character.
Shun Sudo (b. 1977), based in Tokyo, creates paintings that reference both ancient Japanese painting styles and contemporary street culture. With allusions to iconic brands such as Chanel or Nike alongside pop art imagery, Sudo’s work gestures to decades of commercial and counterculture forces. In the course of his creations, Sudo developed two artistic styles that connect to two different aspects of his personality—FRANERO and Shun Sudo. FRANERO is the gestural, dynamic style characteristic of Japanese sumi-e brush stroke painting, where the primary aim of the artist is to capture his subject’s matter in a few stylized brushstrokes. Sudo’s artful black ink illustration is, in a sense, similar to traditional calligraphy in which each mark made is meaningful. The Shun Sudo style reveals Sudo’s informed urban artistry though colorful and relevant content that fills in the brush strokes. The combination of these two styles creates a graphically animated effect that represents Sudo’s identity as a traditional Japanese artist, while also inspired by street art and Western culture. The lines between these two cultures, identities, and creative personalities are again blurred in vibrant works that pop.
For more information on this special, temporary exhibition, contact Nana Onishi at 212-695-8035, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, please visit the gallery website at www.onishigallery.com.