Maiko Kasai “Little Owl’s Eyes”

Yuka Tsuruno Gallery

poster for Maiko Kasai “Little Owl’s Eyes”
[Image: Maiko Kasaii]

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In recent years, Maiko Kasai has been producing works that explore the relationship between narrative and painting by composing stories based on scenes witnessed in her everyday life, or introducing a new, uniquely imagined perspective that complements untold parts of existing stories. Her paintings, characterized by bold brushstrokes and the use of empty spaces, are populated by socially undifferentiated beings such as young girls, animals and costumed cartoon characters. The vague compositions and colors that allow the subject to merge with the background express her pictorial world at once as figurative and abstract. The title of this exhibition, “Little Owl’s Eyes,” refers to the owl of the Greek goddess Athena. As the goddess of wisdom, handicrafts and warfare, Athena is thought to have kept an owl, a symbol of wisdom, by her side as her holy animal. Kasai says that she adopted this title as “an attempt to examine the world from a perspective that is different to that of the everyday, and, rather, akin to that of the owl that regarded the world from above alongside the goddess who was worshiped as the guardian of Athens and looked over every occurrence in the world.” While she reexamines the traditional motifs of western painting, the owl’s perspective has become an important one for her. Kasai has introduced the comprehensive perspective of Yamato-e style and the traditional nature motifs of Japanese painting to the compositions of her works in order to achieve temporal narrativity in the scenes she depicts instead of the timelessness of traditional painting. Furthermore, the newly introduced motif of plaster busts is a recognizable one for anyone who studied art in Japan. The plaster busts that are normally regarded merely as drawing subjects in modern art education are familiar to Kasai even though they are remote from her cultural and spatiotemporal origins, much like the images of young girls who overlap with the motifs of western painting in her works. Kasai’s attempt to approach traditional motifs from a new angle both in terms of medium and subject matter manifests itself as pictures with new narrativity that link time and space, and offer the change for multiple interpretations by viewers.

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Schedule

from October 21, 2017 to November 25, 2017
Opening 11:00-20:00 on Fridays.

Opening Reception on 2017-10-21 from 18:00 to 20:00

Artist(s)

Maiko Kasai

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