灵魂的容器 Vessel of Souls

Duration : 11:00-19:00 (closed on Monday)

Opening : 2022.10.04-2022.10.30

Venue : Room 108, No. 3, Lane 1363, Middle Fuxing Road, Xuhui District, Shanghai, China 200031

Tel : +86 (0)21 5496 1918

Web : https://www.shunartdesign.com

Artist : 此木山红大Mikuo KONOKI、小林麻衣子Maiko KOBAYASHI、新藤杏子Kyoko SHINDO、岛内美佳Mika SHIMAUCHI、水野亮Ryo MIZUNO

From the beginning of the Renaissance, humanists began to place the importance of humanity at the center of the world, and artists began to inject the brilliance of humans into their paintings. Since then, we have seen the depiction of human spirituality in Rembrandt’s self-portrait; we have seen expressionism push emotional depiction to a new height; we have seen Freud’s integration of physical reality into human nature; Under the influence of neo-surrealism and neo-expressionism, many postmodern artists are still working tirelessly around the theme of human nature. If we turn our focus to the East and focus on Japanese contemporary art, while being deeply influenced by Western painting, Ukiyo-e, ACG subculture, and Super-flat art are also deeply inspiring the creation of Japanese artists. In the constant revolution and integration, although the objects of creation are from different cultural backgrounds, the constant is the capture of the soul. Portrait art (mainly depicting humans) goes far beyond a professional category. It is a fascination with people, which keeps you immersed in living and intriguing individuals. In this sense, nothing seems more mysterious than the surface.

The Japanese artists brought to this exhibition by Shun Art Gallery are completely different in age, experience, way of examining the soul, and creative techniques. This is a very interesting exploration. They use a unique way to record the individuals and groups in their eyes and tell the story of life. When these stories are placed in the same space, we no longer look at life in a single way of thinking. The field of vision is expanded, and different choices and different creativity are injected into the original empty container of life.

Maiko Kobayashi’s experience of being bullied when she was a student formed the seeds of her creation in her heart. She created a unique and lovely creature, pale and soft, as if threatened by invisible forces and feeling helpless, but she kept a light of courage and hope in her heart. The artist puts delicate thoughts and emotional connections with others into this living body. Kobayashi’s creative style is the closest to the Super-flat art group. The difference is that when she is creating, she repeatedly draws and erases facial features, and the traces left after being erased are merged with the final expression. It makes the flat become less thin and closer to the complex thoughts from the deepest part of the heart before the emotions appear on the face. The artist has thoroughly studied the contours and lines of human facial expressions. In her brush, the simple lines have traceable clues and are intriguing.

Ryo Mizuno created countless mysterious creatures with pencils and ink pens, these creatures seem to flow naturally from his hands. The speedy images are so smooth that exceed the viewers’ imagination as if they can feel the tone of the picture gradually darkening. The viewer is forced to use all his senses to capture the details that emerge from the deep darkness. The artist maintains a calmness towards the real world, but in another parallel space like a dream, he is full of fantastic imagination, where he is God, who dominates the bodies, emotions, thoughts, and energy of these flourished creatures.

Kyoko Shindo is an artist and a mother. The weight of the family and the upbringing of children are inseparably linked to her creations. We see in her work the narrative in the background of family, mundane life, for the artist, the relationship with people that happens in daily life and the events that arise from it are indispensable in her creation. Kyoko Shindo’s creative techniques are impressive, and the interesting outlines that are smudged out give the characters a sense of time passing, and even the faces of babies make people feel like they have traveled through time and space. Kyoko Shindo’s recent works increasingly incorporate the environment into the depiction of characters, and the technique of smearing is applied to objects, which is equally intoxicating. From then on, her works and the stories she wrote began to become more and more full and fascinating.

Mika Shimauchi is eager to touch the reality of this world and wants to leave a trace that can be touched. As artists’ most commonly used material, clay can be directly touched with hands, evoking childhood memories and touching real sense. In particular, the exploration of life and death is one of the themes that the artist cares most about. She believes that this is very important to understand who we are and how we should live. Unfortunately, even without such thinking, we still live in this world. The artist develops motifs from her own landscapes and exhibits them as sculptures and various works. The imperfections visible within the works are a motion to humorously represent the irony of the over-efficiency of our lifestyles under the weight of globalization created by mankind, and yet how we are unable to fully adapt.

At the age of 85 years old, Mikuo Konoki is a highly respected artist in Japan. He takes “the dignity of life” as the theme, only wishing that the subject with life will be respected, nurtured, and shine. “Konoki” in the artist’s name implies the Chinese word for “this moment”. His cherishing of the moment and his celebration of life run through his works. The artist loves to draw cats. He injects his own understanding of life into the expressions and gestures of cats. The childlike brushstrokes are completely released without any restraint, free and easy. The artist also uses scrap metal (Ganta) as a material to use his imagination to create vibrant creatures, which carry a “clumsy” air, like a kind of wisdom, reminding everyone who forgets the present and is anxious about life.

People living through the ages seem to have a hard time controlling their own destiny, and when you connect yourself to a larger context, it doesn’t have a particularly obvious direct effect, but as a human being in a fuller sense in life, as a human being, the most remarkable thing is your spiritual existence, which is what the artist pursues and creates in his works.

Creation is not only the responsibility of the artist, every living being can be its own creator, and regard life as its own best gift to create it, not just a created container.

When people as group animals gather together because of “same” or “different”, it is like different color blocks and volumes in a painting. The exchange of different voices and the interweaving of multiple cultures are of extraordinary significance in today’s society. The epidemic is sweeping the world. People in every cultural circle should not be closed in their own vision, impose their own values on others, and always maintain a rich and independent soul is the way to prevent the world from becoming one-colored and prevent human beings from being vulnerable in the face of viruses.

Yun CHEN

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