Mari Kawai "standing," 2016. Oil on canvas, 91 x 72.7 cm
Mari Kawai is a painter who, while using clearly defined shapes and colors, draws an imaginary reality which can only exist on the picture plane. In each picture, only one motif is drawn (even if several, the number is small); objects which resemble the oriental terracotta dolls, or shapes like animal bones or a cat's hand. The objects all seem to be familiar and not to be familiar. These images which at times seem kitsch or to have double-meanings demonstrate a wavering presence.
Painting the picture shown above, "Standing," Kawai looked at ancient Chinese burial effigies and was enthralled by those fascinating shape. This "thing," which looks like a statue with its arms crossed in front of its chest, but also looks like a flower vase, while unidentifiable, gives off an aristocratic air.
Where do such images come from?
The paintings of Kawai are neither works where a subject is seen and painted accurately, nor ones in which an image from the mind is copied. More than simply borrowing an existing image, Kawai paints then looks, looks then paints, and through repetition the work is born. In these works, with the main point premised on hand work, "mediation," which is the true essence of the paintings, is conspicuous.
Also, common to many of the works are features of familiar gentle curves and a static flatness. Neither impulsive nor intoxicated, but rather after taking time, the works come together rationally. Due to this individuality and stance, but not with an impact which dazzles the eyes, these works are overflowing with a gradual and effective excitement.
New works of about ten oil paintings are planned for exhibition.
1987: Born in Hyogo, Japan
2010: BFA, Musashino Art University
2012: MFA, Musashino Art University
2012: Second Award, TOKYO WONDER WALL 2012
2016: "naming," Sukiwa corporation, Tokyo
2015: "Project N59," Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery, Tokyo
2013: "TWS - Emerging 2013," Tokyo Wonder Site Hongo, Tokyo
TOKYO WONDER WALL at Tokyo metropolitan government building 2012
Information Provided by: Tachibana Gallery
Period: February 25,2017 (Sat) 〜 March 18,2017 (Sat)
Hours: 12:00 - 19:00
Closed: Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays
Venue: Tachibana Gallery