Works – Junko Yamamoto & Akiko Masker
Aug 05 – Sep 04 2016
Works – junko Yamamoto & Akiko Masker
Artist Reception – Thursday, August 12 – 6 – 7:30pm
In my work, I explore space and memories. The space between atoms, cells,
between people, objects, air, stars, water and sky; the cosmic glue which
holds us and the universe together. I like to push and pull, bringing other
My process combines brush painting, layers of color and shapes, with
brayers that give printmaking or stamp like quality. Brush strokes mimic
calligraphy gestures I used to practice in my youth. The layering process is
enhanced by my use of color and shape, suggesting textile, landscape and
familiar pop culture.
My forms and strokes that reappear and disappear in all of the pieces signal
cell divisions, electrons and atoms as well as consciousness and
interconnectedness. Unity as a whole is my foundation.
While studying art in Japan, I became interested in Ukiyo-‐e, a genre of Japanese art that was popular in Japan from the 17th to 20th century. Often translated as “scenes from the floating world,” Ukiyo-‐e was popular with many in Japan because of its mass-‐produced use of woodblock prints. This popularity also stemmed from the oft-‐depicted scenes of fleeting beauty and pleasure both from the realm of nature and from that of society.
I was also greatly influenced by the western tradition of art and have been fascinated by my experience of coming from a small fishing town in Japan to Seattle. Such experiences have led me to find a way to express the often fleeting beauty of the modern world. In my work, I experiment with the interplay between the material world and the “floating world” but with a more modern take on the “floating world.” I start with a material object such as a canvas. I then take a digital picture, manipulate that image, print it, and overlay it onto the surface. Finally, I incorporate industrial materials such as spray paint or string to give the object a sense of being both two and three-‐dimensional. In this way I attempt to create a world that is both alien and familiar where one exists both within and outside of us.