Kyoko Murase “works on paper”

Dates: Jul 9 – Aug 14, 2022
Location: SHOP Taka Ishii Gallery, Hong Kong
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SHOP Taka Ishii Gallery is pleased to present Kyoko Murase “works on paper” from July 9 – August 14, 2022. Essential to her oeuvre which manifests the sensorial experience in a mysterious natural world, Murase’s works on paper display the artist’s liberated exploration of her unique gradient brushworks and dreamlike visual language, while existing as a delicate presence in the world of her creations. The exhibition will feature 18 works from 2001 to 2016 including previously unexhibited works.

One day I drew the leaf of a fern with a red pencil, filling up a piece of paper.
As I did so, the level of humidity in the quiet picture began to rise.
I could hear the sounds made by other organisms far away.

Kyoko Murase, Vanishing Points: Contemporary Japanese Art,
Japan Foundation, 2007, p. 43

Over the years, Murase has developed a visual language all of her own about the delights of nature. Following the drifting hair and limbs of her characteristic figures, who act as a personal and instinctive “entrance” to the picture, viewers are invited to immerse themselves in the atmosphere of navigating a forest or a cave, the tactile sensation of breeze, water, vines and ferns caressing the skin, and the distant tweets and humming of birds and insects. The creatures and the environments intermingle in a constant flux, faintly appear and dissolve in swaying motions reminiscent of whirling clouds or the shimmering surface of a river. This texture is achieved by distinctive striated brushstrokes in rich color gradations that are simultaneously controlled and carefree, soft and dynamic.

“works on paper” is the artist’s 12th solo presentation at the gallery and the 2nd in Hong Kong, showcasing a selection of her works during the span of 15 years. Born in Japan, and having resided in Germany for over 20 years, Murase has developed a persistent yet ever-evolving body of work, similar to “bean-sprouting” as she describes it, which has won her worldwide acclaim since her early career. From swans, to butterflies, to intricate branches; from mystical forests to parks; from characters turning away to facing the audience – Murase’s subjects are subtly informed by her surroundings. While continuing to employ an original blend of pigment with oil and resin that retains the brush movements, her drawings on paper serve as a study as well as a medium of exploration of her signature motifs. Alongside her paintings on cotton and canvas, her paper works, stained with overlapping gouache and pigment blotches, and drawn with free-hand pencil and marker lines, demonstrate the artist’s continuous endeavor to expand her means of delivery, further complicating the perceptions and spatiality of an ethereal natural world she has been creating until today.

Kyoko Murase was born in Gifu City in 1963. She graduated from the Aichi Prefectural University of the Arts in 1986, where she also completed her postgraduate studies in 1989. She subsequently studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf between 1990 and 1996, returned to Japan in 2016. She currently lives and works in Tokyo. Her major solo exhibitions include “park”, Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo (2019); “Painting and … vol.3 Kyoko Murase”, Gallery αM, Tokyo (2018); “Fluttering far away”, Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Aichi (2010); “Cicada and horned owl”, the Vangi Sculpture Garden Museum, Shizuoka (2007). She has participated in “„tomodachi to“. Mit Freund*innen”, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf (2021); “Living in Symbiosis with Forests and Water”, Nagano Prefectural Art Museum, Nagano (2021); “luxurious dialogue”, Okazaki Mindscape Museum, Aichi(2020); “Aichi Art Chronicle 1919-2019”, The Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art, Aichi (2019); “Pathos and Small Narratives: Japanese Contemporary Art”, Gana Art Center, Seoul (2011); “Red Hot: Asian Art Today from the Chaney Family Collection”, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (2007); “Roppongi Crossing”, the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2004); “MOT Annual 2002 – Fiction? Painting the reality in the Age of the Virtual –”, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo.

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