WED. 12 March – SUN. 4 April 2014
12:00–19:00 | closed on Tuesdays | entrance free
1 year on from her exhibition at Honen-in Temple, Kyoto, Yuri Shimojo brings to Tokyo a body of work, developed in her former studio in Brooklyn NY, with reflections upon life and death. Her last exhibition held in Tokyo was 12 years ago.
Memento Mori (Latin) : an artistic reminder of mortality and life
Soon after March 11, 2011, I heard news that Sakura, cherry blossoms started to bloom in the midst of debris in the devastated area of Tohoku where the great Earthquake and Tsunami hit. I was awed by the power of nature. At that time, I could not find a way to put my feelings about this through art. But soon I began to to paint, each petal onto paper, one by one.
In Buddhism, a phrase "諸行無常 Shogyo Mujo" can be translated "all things are transient and impermanent." This universal idea expressing temporal relationship with nature is can be found in daily aesthetics and spirituality in Japan. "May be we all humans are practicing for 'Live in the moment.'"
I often think of death. Death of life, death of relationship... Since I was child, I experienced my families' and loved one's death a number of times. Although when I think of death, this ultimate mystery always comes with the meanings of life. Death has always been the beginning, the life force and the cleansing. The circle of life became a fundamental theme of my art.
For Memento Mori, a series of five 38" x 52" watercolors (Gansai Japanese watercolors and graphite on Indian handmade paper) will be presented. Described by the artist as a "personal requiem and inevitable celebration for honor of life"
"Sakura 桜" implies Nirvana
"Algae 藻" implies River Sanzu or Styx
"Vine 蔦" implies Passage
"Hana (flower) 花" implies Birth
"Universal Stain しみの宇宙" implies Self
WED. 19 March 20:00 | SAT. 5 April 20:00
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Yuri has been expressing her life through painting, journaling and dancing since she was three years old.
Born in the spring of year of the fire horse, her upbringing in Tokyo was a very unconventional one. As part of her samurai lineage inheritance, she practiced Japanese traditional arts such as tea ceremony, flower arrangement with Kabuki and Noh theatrical dance performance for many years, which was unique in modern Japanese childhood. Her late "flamboyant" parents were also passionate to teach Yuri to value universal identity through travels abroad and uninhibited performance and social events. These elements, so drastically colorful, have influenced her work throughout her entire life.
Now hopping between urban and tropical jungles, Brooklyn and hideaway in Hawaii. These extreme opposites from jungle to urban life balances her creative & spiritual yin and yang which always bringing new sources of inspiration.
In addition to her personal fine artwork, Yuri is drawn to the world of indigenous cultures, which has led her studying universal shamanism as an certified healing practitioner and intuitive communicator with animals. Her Boston Terrier dog Rudy the RudeBoy and jungle cat Wakame are her best mentors.
Yuri Shimojo has published several books in Japan, including: "Makkana Mangetsu~Crimson Full Moon"(1995), which showcase her earlier illustration works, "Vagabonds" (2001), a journal work from her trip in Central America and Mexico, and "Chiisana Rakugaki~Tiny Scribble" (1997), an memoir of her unique childhood with her family, which has republished in 2007.
Yuri Shimojo http://www.yurishimojo.com/
[ VENUE: Gallery éf, Asakusa ]
ADD: 2-19-28 Kaminarimon, Taito-ku, Tokyo
A wooden and clay warehouse built in 1868. It survived two great fires: huge earthquake in 1923 and Tokyo bombing in 1945. Renovated as an art space in 1997. Registered as a cultural asset in 1998.
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