YAMAMOTO GENDAI is pleased to announce Utopia, a solo exhibition by Natumi HIRAKAWA from October 8th through November 5th, 2011, featuring over 10 paintings from the latest works by the artist.
Born in 1987 and living and working in her native Oita prefecture, Hirakawa had her solo museum exhibition at the Contemporary Art Museum, Kumamoto last year, and a number of her works have become a part of its collection.
Frequently portrayed in Hirakawa’s paintings are scenes from the fictional worlds of her spontaneous imagination. Fantasies in dreams, impressions of amusement parks, music and places he visited, or curiosities towards subjects that she finds strange, result in the appearance of desolate sceneries and mysterious figure in these worlds of her paintings, as she explains. According to the artist, while “contemplation on them is a complete escape from reality”, these are a series of “another reality” to her.
Hirakawa states in regards to her own works;
Consequences of stagnation in our times are the influences on my paintings. Feeling of anixiety, fatigue and cynicism I have for being given a birth in this period of uncertainty.
I have been feeling depression and enigma towards these issues like the Internet, the environment, communication and media that we face in the post bubble world. In my paintings I struggle to capture entertainment in the ephemeral, the uncanny as questioning and warning to this depressing world, sadness in humor and coldness in the Pop in such a time, while telling myself not to forget them. I try to bring these things that are silent, never up in the front, always forgotten and silently disappearing, into the spotlight.
Self-educated Hirakawa is rather indifferent to the art of high techniques, and therefore her works seem to more boldly portray the Utopia that flashes through her mind. In her paintings, which are improvised without making prior studies, we find “playfulness” of mind in a fictitious world. Her works effortlessly reveal the importance of such playfulness in our lives of the contemporary society. Possibly owing to her residence in distant Oita, her visions and attitude towards art are well kept from exhaustion in the mainstream trends, and keenly raises questions to the society of our time.