The portraits which Tomoko Kashiki creates are placed in a closed limiting space such as a room or garden. She embodies people with flowing identities within an intimate world of beauty, desire and dreams in her paintings. All of her paintings are painted with acrylic, and she manages to achieve a smooth surface with multiple layers of colours through her original process of repeating: painting on canvas, sanding down the paint and painting again. Her characteristic style of flat, smooth texture and flowing lines has a strong resemblance to Japanese paintings at the first sight.
In this exhibition, she develops her unique cosmology of mixing beauty and fear even further, while still being consistent in her own style. Her recent works show more powerful and vivid colors within the folds of various textures than before. Furthermore, the power which her works contain is not unidirectional but diffusely transmitted because of the ambiguous “twist” in her pictorial space. As she mentions that she is depicting someone who “concentrates so much on creating everything around her that her body literally melts away” or “evaporating into the landscape”, the border between the person and the ambient environment is somehow materially unclear and transparent, although she often paints portraits. Viewers are able to remember various anonymous memories and landscapes passing through such ghostlike bodies she expresses with the somatic sensation of “wind” – one of the significant motifs in her works. In this moment, even our memories might be included in her works as if folded into the “pleats” persistently shown in her works. Through experiencing her works, our own identities melt away and gradually blend with her cosmos and integrate into her identity.
As a result, the viewers receive vivid impression, as if they experienced some daydreams. We might find forgotten memories of the distant past or unseen future in this exhibition. As she says, “Since I paint without any special intentions, I hope that my works attract as many people as possible through various interpretations beyond their age, gender or nationality.” The viewers are slowly invited to the melting daydreams in this exhibition.