Kyoko Imazu One Window Exhibition
June 3, 2017 ~ June 30, 2017
Opening Reception: June 3 (Sat.) 6-8pm
AG Gallery is proud to present “Still-Summer”, a one window exhibition by Kyoko Imazu. Imazu is Japanese artist, printmaker and sculptor, living and working in Australia. She is mostly known for her printmaking and her work has been featured in multiple solo and group exhibitions museums and galleries including Kyoto Museum of Art in Kyoto, Japan, Japan Foundation Gallery win Sydney Australia, Odd One Out in Hong Kong, Davidson Galleries in Seattle, USA, and many more. Imazu has been featured at AG Gallery since 2014, and this is her second solo exhibition at AG Gallery after “World of Kyoko Imazu” in 2015.
“Drawing animals and monsters is one of my earliest and most important memories from my childhood. My drawings include animals like rabbits, cats and birds and also strange creatures, Yokai from Japanese folklore. Growing up in Japan, I was convinced—and very scared—that there were Yokai and other creatures lurking behind me and or hiding in the dark corners of the house. They were as real as dogs and cats.” -Kyoko Imazu
Moving to Australia from Japan as a young adult, Kyoko’s work draws narratives from nostalgic memories of childhood in Japan and features insects, animals and Yokai found throughout Japanese folklore that she read and listened to as a child. Her ceramics bring new life to her two dimensional realm of prints and into reality–the ‘real world’ becomes the playground for her adorable creatures.
“Still-Summer” is AG Gallery’s first one window exhibition, featuring Kyoko Imazu’s latest sculptures and her latest original prints.
This exhibition is inspired with the term “still-life”, the still of the summer night, deep silence and calm; stillness… that brings her imaginative creatures into our realm, quietly awaiting visitors in our gallery.
Photography by Oleksandr Pogorilyi
AG Gallery is pleased to announce an extension of our current Solo Exhibition “Miotsukushi” by Aya Kakeda. Thank you for all those who attended for the opening reception and already visited the show, Please make sure to visit us if you haven’t already.
Meanwhile below is an exclusive interview with Aya Kakeda, with some images of her original works still available at AG Gallery. Please enjoy!
Exhibition will be on view through November 12, 2016.
Q1-Please tell us a little bit about your background…
I was born and grew up in Tokyo, Japan. I moved to the United States when I was in my late teens; I lived in Florida, Georgia, and now live and work in Brooklyn, NY.
My art education is in illustration, but while I was in school I started to be more interested in Fine Art. Now I split my time being a illustrator, Fine artist, and educator.
Q2-What was the first work of art that you saw or experienced that you still remember today?
My grandmother was a Japanese Tea ceremony teacher. And I grew up surrounded by tea ceremony tools, ceramics, seasonal flowers, and seasonal Japanese paintings that decorate around the tea ceremony rooms.
Since they are for tea ceremony, the art or ceramic themselves are not necessary decorative or colorful; actually they were more in earthy tones had WabiSabi feelings to it, but they always had some twist or hidden playfulness to them which interested me.
Also, in every season Kimono maker would come to our house and show my grandmother rolls of fabrics. I still remember the scene when the rolls of fabrics would fly through the air, filling the room, and for me it looked like a sea of patterns. I think that image still sticks to my mind and till this day I love looking at patterns. My work also has a lot of patterns in it.
Q3-Who were your earliest influencers of famous artists or creators?
As a child I was very much into monsters, ghosts, animals, and Folk stories.
Kuniyoshi (Ukiyoe Master) has a huge influence on me. I discovered his playful Ukiyoe that depicts animals as human. It’s quite humorous. And his monsters are not always very scary; they are very silly and I loved that about his monster work.
Also growing up in Japan I was more into non-traditional art like Manga and Animation.
I always liked Shigeo Mizuki, Osamu Tezuka, and Fujiko Fujio A.
Their world is twisted, dark, and full of monsters, but also humorous.
I think that’s my favorite mixer; dark creature world but humorous.
Q4-Please tell us about your work…
I like telling stories and creating my own whimsical world. When I started out, I started by remembering my imaginary world that I had when I was little. And now that world has been expanding over the years. My world is mysterious and dark, sometimes with strange creatures but never serious; there is some sort of humor in it. I like the contrast of reality and imaginary, dark and light, cute and ugly, and that reflects in my art I think.
Q5-What do you make?
Materials have been changing over the years also depending on the project. It varies from Printmaking, embroidery, painting, installation, now I’m very into making a ceramic sculptures. For this show it’s mostly paintings and ceramic sculptures.
Q6-What generally inspires or influences you to create your work?
I get very excited to see craft and fabrics from different parts of the world. For that reason, traveling and getting to know the different culture has been a huge influence on me. Every time I go somewhere I get inspired and can’t wait to go back to studio and create. Also I get influenced by reading, watching cinema, seeing performance, and so on.
And having coffee talking to friends also inspires me, I am luckily surrounded by many creative minds!
Q7-What is the main challenge for you when creating your work?
I try to challenge myself by using new materials and I love the process of making things, but I often end up with “ugly s***” and not one, but many many “ugly s***” and that’s frustrating sometimes to not get the result I want. But it’s also the part of art making I like as well, experimenting and exploring new things.
Q8-What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on a Ceramic series that I started this Summer. Part of them are exhibited at AG gallery right now!
I have been trying to combine the beautiful deep colors and textures of the ceramic glaze and very artificial flat colors. My work usually has believable botanical backgrounds and mythical imaginary creatures, and I would like to push that in the material as well by mixing earth (clay and glaze that are made with minerals from earth) and artificial medium (plastic, resin, and house paint).
Q10-What is your dream or goal as an artist in 3 years? 5 years?
Ceramic is still a new medium for me and I’m still learning about the medium and also how to show in the space. I would like to figure out how to mix my 2D works and sculpture also to create the whole complete world. So my future plan is to figure that out in the next year or so and make more art! As a goal I would love to have a bigger body of work for exhibition.
Lastly, Do you have any message to visitors for this exhibition? What we should check out / should not miss in this exhibition?
The past few years have been a transition for me moving from 2D to 3D and also finding a way to incorporate both mediums. So maybe visitors would be able to feel the transition and the new direction and hopefully that’s interesting for them to see.
For Immediate Release
AG Gallery/About Glamour in Williamsburg is pleased to present a solo exhibition, “One Hundred Days of Winter,” by Rachelle Tolwin. All the works are from her project in this winter which is the document of her daily creation process on a mountain days.
Rachelle Tolwin’s tumblr blog description reads: “this will be my first winter living on a mountain in the Catskill mountain state park. I plan to document each day of the winter with art that I made that day. Some days may be really cold. Some days there may be no internet access. I will still make something regardless of the conditions and post it when I am connected to the world-wide web and all of you.”
Rachelle moved to a remote area of the Catskill Mountains with her husband, Chaim, last Summer from Brooklyn. She looked to the Winter as a time to reflect and focus on art and decided to start http://www.onehundreddaysofwinter.tumblr.com. Her daily artwork chronicles this time through playful, introspective work clearly inspired by her new surroundings and connection with nature. Most of the work in one hundred days of winter is on paper, with gouache, watercolor and collage. There are a few photographs that help situate her setting. The title of the show may suggest images of snow and a white landscape, but these types of images do not dominate the show. One reason may be there was not as much snow as expected this year. Most of the works are colorful and reflect the inward and outward journey Rachelle experienced. The work in this show presents a mystical, whimsical landscape that Rachelle lives in or imagines.
Rachelle Tolwin lives and works in Sundown, NY, a small hamlet in the Catskill Mountains. She received her MFA from California College of the Arts and her BS from New York University. She enjoys making imagined landscapes on paper and has shown her work nationally and internationally. Her work can be viewed at rachellecohen.com.
The opening reception for “One Hundred Days of Winter” will be held on Saturday, March 31 at AG Gallery from 6 to 9 p.m. The exhibition will be on view through Sunday, April 29, 2012.
Check details about Opening Reception at Facebook event page.
AG Gallery/About Glamour