Gallery Show: 「現代アート展」Contemporary Art Exhibition @ Kahogekijyo, Fukuoka

 
 

There's nothing quite like the creak of old wooden buildings, especially public buildings like theaters or, in this case, playhouses.

I love reading the history of these buildings and temples here in Japan.  They all have similar backstories which are uniquely entertaining.  Take for example, the Kahogekijyo theater in Iizuka, Fukuoka.

  • 1921 Built as a 3-story playhouse named "The Nakaza Theater"
  • 1928 Burned down
  • 1929 Rebuilt
  • 1930 Knocked over by a Typhoon
  • 1931 Rebuilt and renamed
  • etc.

We can only hope that the building does not fall over, burn down, sink into a swamp, or get carried away by a horde of dying monkey between November 19th and 30th, where 14 artists, including myself, will be exhibiting a dizzying variety of contemporary art.  Paper cuts, sculpture, installations, pastel, dye techniques, and much more will be on show (and for sale).  

I plan on being there one or two times (I'll post more when I know the schedule).  I couldn't be more thrilled to be exhibiting with this calibre of talent.  Plus, I'm excited to catch up with Hina Aoyama (青山日菜), whose impossibly detailed paper cutting always amazes.

現代アート展2016 • Contemporary Art Exhibition 2016

dates: Sat. Nov 19, 2016 - Wed. 30, 2016

times: 9:00-17:00

entry fee:  ¥300 • elementary school students ¥100

place: Kahogekijyo, Fukuoka-ken, Iizuka-shi, Iizuka 5-23

tel: 0948-22-0266
venue: website • English
directions: map

日付: 2016年11月19日(土)〜 30日(水)
時間: 午前9:00時~午後17時
入場料 ¥300 • 小学生 ¥100
住所: 嘉穂劇場 • 〒820-0041 福岡県飯塚市飯塚5番23号
電話: 0948-22-0266
ギャラリー: ホームページ
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WIP • Strangeness Factory

 
Strangeness Factory • Final Drawing (top layers)

Strangeness Factory • Final Drawing (top layers)

 

The woods are dark, and all manner of beasts dwell therein.

There have been a great many developments in my life away from the paperknife.  I was tempted to call it my "non-art life", but that would be dishonest.  Its inevitable that every change of any real weight in my personal life make an impression on my art, informing the strangeness that comes slinking out of my brain.  

Typically, these inspirations are subconscious, subtle, surreptitious, sneaky.  I might see them out of the corner of my eye while working, but they are easily dismissed.  It's often not until weeks, months, maybe years after the work is complete that I begin to connect the dots that my hand has already drawn.  Heck, sometimes it takes a friend to point them out to me.

This odd manufacture, this quirky industry spoke quite loudly.  

Not clearly, mind you.  No, these inspirations, whether they whisper or shout, are always irritatingly nebulous.  But even while I was drawing and cutting - times when my brain is typically happily wandering far away - I couldn't help but wonder if I was drawing the things which were transforming my life into something new.

Speaking of irritating vagueness, all of these allusions to Major Life Changes™ are probably exactly that to you.  I apologize.  I'm just never sure how personal I feel comfy getting here. 

Incidentally, this work is currently hanging in the Old Jaffa Museum in Old Jaffa, Israel as a part of the Paper Creatures exhibition.  Read More Here

 

The Cultivation of Enlightenment

 

 The Cultivation of Enlightenment
 size:  10 x 15 cm • 4 x 6 in
 medium:  cut paper + washi + chiyogami / wood

 

You would be forgiven for thinking that a person who suffers from severe pollen-based nasal distress would have a more negative take on the theme of flowers and gardens.  The truth is that I have fond memories of the gardens on the family farm.  Admittedly my fondness comes more from scarfing down the tomatoes than from tilling and fertilizing, but still.

The Cultivation of Enlightenment came into being as a commission for a long-time collector - actually, she always comes up with such inspiring themes that she's more of a collaborator.  She mentioned that she's been spending time in the garden recently, and my art mind took off at a sprint.

Based on the idea of the garden as an organic font of wisdom,  this piece ties nicely into my regular themes of enlightenment from chaos, and the concept that thoughts and wisdom can be contagious and passed around - and not always from person to person.

After a bit of research, I found some funky, weirdly beautiful flowers that I fell in love with called Bladder Campions. Not the prettiest name in the world, to be sure. Apparently they can be found in both Europe and the US (where they are considered weeds), but I really responded to the shape, the oddness, and how interesting they would be to cut.

Our protagonist - the recipient of this (super?)natural sagacity,  is a reflection of the shapes and colors of the flower.

Speaking of colors, I was looking for a paper that seemed to represent the idea of a garden without being a literal representation of one. I think the paper I picked does the job nicely, implying nature and colors, perhaps just out of focus.

 
 

The Cultivation of Enlightenment • WIP

 A very colorful background (seriously, this paper is gorgeous and I wish I had more chances to use it) which evokes an out-of-focus garden; a pretty bit of chiyogami to cover the ragged bits on the back, which no one will ever see; and the base cut layer for this small commission piece.

The piece, and these oddball flowers (which are absolutely real, by the way) start to take form, petal-by-petal.  All that’s missing is our mysterious protagonist in the bottom corner (Who could they be?  What is their connection to this strange flora?  What ominous and/or benevolent motives guide them?  Do they suffer from pollen allergies?).

Extra points if anyone can ID the weird dangly flowers.