Group Show 2018
February 01, 2018 - March 31, 2018
Yoshii Gallery is proud to present a group show of three significant artists – Lee Ufan, Hiroshi Sugimoto and Shiro Tsujimura.
Lee Ufan, Correspondance, 2003, Oil on canvas (triptych), Each panel 76 1/4 x 51 3/16 inches (194 x 130cm), Overall 76 1/4 x 153 1/2 inches (194 x 390cm)
Lee Ufan was born in South Korea in 1936. He came to prominence in the late 1960s as one of the proponents of the avant-garde Mono-ha group. The Mono-ha school of thought was Japan’s first contemporary art movement to gain international recognition, for it rejected Western notions of representation by focusing on the relationship of materials and perceptions rather than on expression or intervention. In 1991, Lee Ufan started his Correspondance paintings, consisting of just one or two grey-blue brushstrokes, made of a mixture of oil and crushed stone pigment, applied onto a white surface. The relationship between painted and unpainted, occupied and empty space lies in the heart of Lee Ufan’s practice.
Hiroshi Sugimoto, Tyrrhenian Sea, Mount Polo (Morning, day, night), 1993, Gelatin silver print (triptych), Each image 16 7/8 x 21 1/4 inches, Overall 26 1/4 x 99 3/4 inches (66.7 x 253.4cm)
Hiroshi Sugimoto was born in Tokyo in 1947. In this work, Sugimoto presents a triptych – the only one from the Seascape series – whose impact far exceeds the mere combination of three distinct images. Each image, presumably photographed from the same elevated position but at different times of the day, presents an image devoid of any distinction between the sea and water. This creates a further dilution of an already stark scene, transporting viewers back to a time that precedes even the existence of sea and sky, when all that existed was light; Day One of Creation. Accordingly, Sugimoto has stated “I’m inviting the spirits into my photography. It’s an act of God.” And yet, this work is not about religion. Rather, it is an invocation of the beginning, of what existed before there were divisions of land and sea and country. It is the distillation of a place to peaceful purity. Moreover, as a triptych, its strength lies in the passage of time, fading from translucent light to complete darkness, marking the sole boundaries by which the passage of time can be measured. (Excerpt from Phillips New York catalogue essay)
Shiro Tsujimura, Iga Round Jar (Natural ash glaze), 2005, Ceramic, H 12 5/8 x W 12 7/8 inches (H 32 x W 32.7cm)
Shiro Tsujimura is one of the leading ceramic artists in Japan. His art and approach are founded on the beauty and purity of the earth and its relationship and transformation with nature and fire. One of the beauties of Tsujimura’s ceramic work is his lack of formal artistic training, allowing a purity to his creations. The individuality of his art, his own individuality as an artist can be summarized in his statement: “I have no teacher, and I take no apprentices”. He creates his own styles and techniques, individuality, but they are always linked to the past. His studio, built in the mountains of Nara, is a mythical site and the birthplace of his creations. It is with the earth from his property that Tsujimura creates his own clay. He works it, fires it, and lets it mature with age and the passing of time. Indeed, one can find buried ceramics, covered with vines and bamboo. These pieces age with time, illustrating the importance that Tsujimura places on the intangible quality of nature and the passing of time. He is, incontestably, the most capable artist to create works of art that retain purity, respect and traditions of Zen, Japanese and Korean ceramic art of the past.