Sunday, February 22, 2009

Exhibition opening- Japanese neo-pop painting - Kawashima Hideaki - Feb 26 - Mar 29

What: 'Wandering' - solo painting exhibition by Japanese artist Kawashima Hideaki
When: Opening reception Thur Feb 26, 5 - 7 pm, show running until March 29
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 6pm, Sunday: 10am - 5pm
Where: Kukje Gallery, Space 1, Jongno
Entry: free

Kukje Gallery is pleased to present Hideaki Kawashima: Wandering, an exhibition of new paintings and the artist’s first solo show at the gallery. In preparation for his exhibition Kawashima took up residence in Seoul for four months. The fourteen works he painted during his stay will be presented alongside twenty one works that were completed in his native Japan.

Kawashima was born in Japan in 1969 and initially trained at a Buddhist temple near Kyoto to become a monk. However after 2 years he returned home to explore his own psychology through intuitive painting. His process is to apply paint directly on to the canvas from the start without planning, allowing the images to unfold. Thus the title of this exhibition, ‘Wandering’ can be seen as a reflection of Kawashima’s philosophy about his art as influenced by his Buddhist training.

Although he is often grouped together with Neo-Pop artists such as Takashi Murakami and Yoshitomo Nara, Kawashima’s work is distinct from other practitioners of that style in that he does not appropriate iconography from popular culture. Instead the artist has created his own personal vocabulary that includes a singular ghost-like visage with exaggerated eyes and no body. In contrast to the expressiveness of the eyes, the pale face of his subject evokes the makeup worn by actors in Kabuki theatre in order to mask their identity. The influence of Kawashima’s mentor, Nara, is readily apparent in these works – the air of mystery surrounding his signature characters powerfully engages the viewer.

Address: Kukje Gallery Space 1, Sogyeok-dong 59-1, Jongno-gu Seoul, 110-200 Korea
■ Tel : + 82) 2 735 8449
■ Fax : + 82) 2 733 4879
■ Public Transportation
 Subway : No.3 line (Orange) Anguk Station, or Kyungbok Palace Station 10-15 min, walk from subway station (see map)

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