ARTIST : Mayumi Ikejiri
TITLE : LOVE
Biography:The central theme of Mayumi Ikejiri’s art is love. Not just family love, or romance, but the force that brought us into being and gave rise to the earth and to the cosmos. To her, art is about the fun of living life, but it’s also a form of prayer, and an expression of love for all.
Mayumi was born in Hyogo Prefecture, where she was raised in close proximity to nature. Her mother, who saw imagination as a vital asset, read to her from picture books before she started to talk, and also gave her crayons to play with and taught her origami. When she was nine, her father, a traditional man, had her study waka, a traditional form of poetry. This gave her the chance to internalize this literary art form’s rhythms and its particular perspective on the world. From twelve to twenty, she cultivated a respect and thankfulness for life through the rigorous practice of kendo. Thereafter she found employment at Kikkoman, but her health failed and she resigned.
A series of poems she wrote out of a desire to give something back to the world in return for all its human kindness and all the things that keep us alive was selected, from 80,000 entries, and recognized for its ability to “give people a fresh sense of excitement.” She was inspired to try painting as a means of expression after reading an essay by Quintus Horatius Flaccus, in which he compares poetry to painting.
In 2013 she retired and began hand-painting with pastels. Since 2014 her work has been on permanent display at a gallery in Berlin. The same year, she joined the Japanese Contemporary Artists Team of New York.
By using a unique technique that integrates cosmic hemp charcoal, natural stonedust from jewels like ruby, turquoise, and lapis lazuli, and floral essences directly into her pastels, and through her primitive method of painting with her fingers, Mayumi’s art attains a deeply stirring animalism.
In 2016, her art intersected with computer technology for the first time, when she created a piece using the modern printmaking technique called giclée for exhibition in the art division of Japan Festival Berlin. Her piece was an attempt to bridge the gap between two distant moments in the history of art.
Without any formal training, Mayumi Ikejiri has remained active as an artist by overcoming barriers of time and circumstance and creating a signature brand of commanding artwork that serves as a conduit for love and thankfulness.
OPENING RECEPTION 4/11
7:00 PM – 10:00 PM
WEDNESDAY 4/12, – SUNDAY 4/16, 12:00 PM – 6:00PM
(By appointment only on Wednesdays)
ARTIST : kyo→ko
Biography:kyo→ko was born in Kanagawa, Japan on June 12th, 1992. She graduated from Machida Design College with a concentration in graphic design. After graduation, she landed a job at a branding company in the design department and also became an illustrator by drawing during her free time. Her preferred medium is acrylic gouache, and yellow is the primary color that she uses to create pop illustration, which conveys dark humor and cynicism.
She began drawing at a young age and would find flyer paper to draw on with pencil or a marker. During elementary and middle school, her dream was to become a manga artist, but after coming across Mitsuru Nakamura’s illustrations and poems, she thought, “I want to be this person”. From that point on, her goal was to become an illustrator, and she copied his illustrations using color pencils and permanent markers. During high school, she found it strange that her peers had similar hairstyles, wore matching accessories and clothing, and enjoyed the same fads, and this resulted in her becoming perverse and cynical. Around that time, she began watching American cartoons and was especially inspired by shows such as The Simpsons, Ren & Stimpy, and Batman due to their dark humor and the style of the artwork, which she copied. When she entered college, she learned about the existence of acrylic gouache for the first time. Nearing her graduation, she found employment and began giving up on drawing illustration, but she attended the Design Festa, which gave her the opportunity to officially begin her artistic career. The Design Festa is a famous art event in Japan, and seeing and meeting both amateur and professionals artists who “have normal jobs but are active as artists on the sides” was a shock to her. She did not want to be left behind and decided to begin her artistic career.
OPENING RECEPTION 4/11
7:00 PM – 10:00 PM
TURSDAY 4/13, – SUNDAY 4/16, 12:00 PM – 6:00PM
(Closed on Wednesdays)