Beyond the Canvas

# 0019

Beyond the Canvas

Organized by ARTPLAT@ANA InterContinental Tokyo

May 10, 2022(Tue)~  July 31, 2022(Sun)

Art Gallery on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd Floor

ARTPLAT(formerly Art Platform Tokyo) proudly presents ‘Beyond the Canvas’ featuring two women oil painters, Yuka Shiobara and Aru Sunaga.

“While the unprecedented pandemics are spreading around the world, today we’re hearing a news of wars that are hard to believe that they’re happening in the 21st century. The ‘here and now’ in which we find ourselves is a situation that we could hardly fathom a few years ago. So, here I am wondering what it would be like to look at the
works of art with fresh eyes.

Yuka Shiobara and Aru Sunaga, the two artists featured in this exhibition, work primarily in oil painting. What they both have in common is an awareness of the canvas as a medium.

Shiobara reconstructs cut-out part of the motifs of iconic paintings from the past to create her work. In a sense, the technique she applies is very contemporary. Today, information flows at a tremendous speed in the form of breaking news. In such an environment, story telling always brings about a collage-like aspect. In Shiobara’s works, the canvas functions as sandbar in a fast-flowing river, a place where information accumulates to create a worldview. The cut-out
motifs from iconic paintings are multi-layered to create a polyphonic picture plane just as history is spun by many voices.

On the other hand, Sunaga’s act of “painting” is a path to make “existence” present. In Sunaga’s works, “existence” is something that is in a state of flux, such as flames, shadows, and light, which frequently appear with motifs such as hands and brushes trying to grasp that existence. However, the palm of the hand that is supposed to be grasping the shadow remains open. In other words, the shadows are not captured by the painted hand; rather, the shadows along with her hand are etched into the canvas under the powerful brushstrokes. Thus, Sunaga’s work is not a photographic
record of a single moment, but a sculpture of a single moment on a white canvas created by oil paint and a paintbrush.

‘Looking’ at the independent space called canvas leads us into that very world and sometimes beyond it. The works of Shiobara and Sunaga create an unknown window in front of us by overlaying history on the canvas and making the invisible come into sight. In today’s unpredictable information society, that window will create a completely different landscape of our inner world.”

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