Hiroko Otake | THIS IS NOW | THIS IS NOW

ARTISTS

Hiroko Otake

Graduated with a major in Japanese Painting (Nihonga) at the Department of Painting, Tokyo University of the Arts in 2006. Completed a Doctoral Program and earned PhD in Japanese Painting in an Art Education course at Tokyo University of the Arts Graduate School in 2011. Received the Emerald Grant Award from Tokyo University of the Arts in 2014. Has lived in New York during 2015-2016 as part of the Ministry of Culture’s overseas exchange program for upcoming artist. Otake is renowned in Japan and abroad for her novel expression using metal leafs and mineral rock pigments based on traditional Japanese painting techniques.

Statement
The main theme of my work is “constancy within fluidity.” I believe that there is a “truth” in opposing objects that coexist, just like Atman and Brahman’s notions of dynamic equilibrium. I use my work as a medium to explore and understand these concepts. In this exhibition, I tried expressing the multi-faceted thinking of two conflicting beliefs: “constant change” and “permanence”.
2020 Corona times: I realized that the world isn’t going ”back to normal” in a few months or even in a year. Perceptions, ideas and values of society as a whole have changed dramatically from pre-pandemic times.
Art reflects our times. I have been creating works considering the fact that artists must re-learn how to articulate by facing this paradigm shift head on.
The world is inevitably changing with new lives and thoughts. People all over the globe are wondering what is essential in life. I hope that each of them can reach an answer.

Official site

WORKS

Synthesis- Vol.4

Synthesis- Vol.4

Mineral pigments on Japanese paper, Silver leaf

727×909mm

2020

960,000 JPY (w/o tax) / Vol.4+5(set) 1,500,000 JPY (w/o tax)

This piece was inspired by Black Lives Matter movement.
I believe that BLM movement is a global issue regardless of one’s race.
This work was created with a hope that we in Asia, too, will consider the problem as our own.
During the few days in May 2020, a black screen was uploaded on various Social Networks to show people’s will for solidarity. Instead of having this as a momentary movement, I would like to engage with this sad history and reality on a more permanent basis.
What I, an Asian painter, decided to do is to portray various races (Black, White, Asian, Hispanic, Native American, etc.) and genders not in a single color but in an image of integrated world.
The theme of my work comes from my belief that there must be truth within a relationship where two conflicting phenomena, "fluidity" and "eternity" exist. I think that these two contradictory circumstances can be deconstructed and sublimated (Aufheben), leading us to develop broader perspective, guiding us to share the belief that unification of a whole can take place only when individuality exists.

Locale : 3F ⑯


Synthesis- Vol.5

Synthesis- Vol.5

Mineral pigments on Japanese paper, Silver leaf

727×909mm

2020

960,000 JPY (w/o tax) / Vol.4+5(set) 1,500,000 JPY (w/o tax)

This piece was inspired by Black Lives Matter movement.
I believe that BLM movement is a global issue regardless of one’s race.
This work was created with a hope that we in Asia, too, will consider the problem as our own.
During the few days in May 2020, a black screen was uploaded on various Social Networks to show people’s will for solidarity. Instead of having this as a momentary movement, I would like to engage with this sad history and reality on a more permanent basis.
What I, an Asian painter, decided to do is to portray various races (Black, White, Asian, Hispanic, Native American, etc.) and genders not in a single color but in an image of integrated world.
The theme of my work comes from my belief that there must be truth within a relationship where two conflicting phenomena, "fluidity" and "eternity" exist. I think that these two contradictory circumstances can be deconstructed and sublimated (Aufheben), leading us to develop broader perspective, guiding us to share the belief that unification of a whole can take place only when individuality exists.

Locale : 3F ⑰


Butterfly Camouflage vol.2

Butterfly Camouflage vol.2

Mineral pigments on Japanese paper

727×727mm

2020

900,000 JPY (w/o tax)

In this work, I depicted butterflies, my iconic motif, in camouflage pattern using traditional Nihonga material, natural mineral pigments. Camouflage pattern which has been used in military tanks and uniforms can conceal oneself from the enemy forces by blending into the background. Today the motif that incorporats elements of nature is used in fashion design, carrying an image of popular culture.
I have been mostly depicting natural cycles and complete metamorphosis in my painting. Here, I gave a contemporary take on nature and butterflies by using the camouflage pattern. By portraying this repeated pattern as the equilibrium between self-similarity as well as individual and society, I hoped this work would become a catalyst for us to reflect on the subject of nature and society, and a part and whole. Looking for fluidity and ephemerality in nature, openly embracing them and seeking for spiritual maturity by coexisting with nature – these are elements of our Japanese identity. I hope to portray issues regarding coexistence of different cultures, part and a whole, and past and present in my work.

Locale : 2F

Inquiry to works

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