Yoshimi Arts is pleased to present the exhibition "MINAKO NISHIYAMA / wall works"
Minako Nishiyama has been noted for creating sculptural work that intensely highlights “girl culture” with the huge piece The PINKÚ House (1991), that is reminiscent of Licca-chan’s house (something like Barbie’s house), or work that is like the backdrop for a Takarazuka stage. She is one of the figures that began making work through the unique medium of Japanese subculture.
Later, after the Great Hanshin Earthquake in 1995, she began using baking ingredients such as sugar and egg-white to create Sugar Crown (1999), or roses, to create ephemeral work that is easily destroyed. She also began working on murals alongside these ephemeral works. It is around this time that her work seemingly changes visually, however the nature of the work does not change, and rather that the aspects to continue pursuing “femininity” or human nature are expanded. Additionally, her works have utilized a wide range of methods and materials, such as work that began with her interest in light, “Ref-work” (ref paintings), which uses the reflection of color, murals painted directly onto the wall in which patterns and vague pink colors are visible, and works made with a camera.
For this exhibition, Nishiyama will create one of her mural works in the gallery space of Yoshimi Arts. Nishiyama has created numerous murals throughout her career, beginning with the Promenade in Asia: CUTE exhibition at Art Tower Mito in 2001, Daiwa Press (former Daiwa Radiator/Hiroshima) in 2003, a residency in Banff, Canada followed by a solo show Pink Vacancy at Shiseido Gallery in 2004, solo show Iroiki at the Kyoto Art Center in 2007, and group show Cafe in Mito at Art Tower Mito in 2011.
The murals that Nishiyama has created until now incorporated an abstracted form of the roses or rococo patterns that often appeared in her backdrop-style works. Starting out to seem like samplings of decorations, it gradually was simplified into a drawing like that which was drawn with a single, continuous line. On the other hand, the process of the erasing what has been drawn on gallery or studio walls (in other words, applying white paint over it) created an effect that the more faint the pink that is seen through the layers of white paint is, the more it draws the viewer’s attention with its enchanting power. These experiences led to the creation of murals that are exceedingly close to “nothingness.”
When she created mural works at the Daiwa Press and drew two vague, pink mountains on the wall, the fact that she had to squint to make out the image made her wonder for a moment whether this was substantial as a work. These colors, which barely register in our perceptions, trigger optical illusions of the other side that even bewitches the position of the viewer.
The "wall works", mural works shown in the exhibition, are ephemeral, and their life is limited to the three-week duration of the show. A fleeting life that will disappear thereafter.