Makoto Ofune: Wave

Opening reception: November 1, 6-8pm

November 01, 2017 - December 22, 2017

Yoshii Gallery is pleased to present Wave, the second solo exhibition series by Japanese artist Makoto Ofune. This exhibition features a collection of white paintings and works of stone produced over the past decade wherein Ofune masterfully recreates realities filled with atmospheric textures through his paintings and installations. Each artwork contains within itself its own world; these worlds gently connect and interact with one another when these artworks are exhibited together in a singular space. His works seem to expand endlessly, the particles on the paper seemingly identical. There is an impression of them changing playfully with the light, air, sounds and contents of the atmosphere. There are no landscapes or human representations in his works, yet in their presence, one connects effortlessly with each piece.

Particles containing color are used by Ofune to depict the energy of the air, the light according to the time of day, and the surrounding atmosphere of an ever-changing world. Pure white pigments arise mainly from crystal, calcite and Gofun shells that are naturally dried over a decade. Ofune uses the color white to depict stimulating realities like a cloudy or snowy environment, or something extraordinary like a bare glimpse of an essence of a natural phenomenon, a sense of the infinite through whiteout conditions.

Ofune strictly follows an ancient traditional nihon-ga method of Japanese style painting. Paper of Japanese hemp fiber is mounted on wood panels. Mineral stones are frequently crushed and grounded by the artist to make powdered natural color pigments (iwa enogu), which are then affixed to the hemp paper using natural animal gelatin glue (nikawa). This process is remarkably laborious, and highlights the respect and appreciation that the artist gives to the natural materials from which his art is created. For his Reflection Field stone works, he applies these mineral pigments directly on fossilized stone. By doing so he fuses and recombines the powdered pigments from mineral stone to a second mineral stone, blurring the line between nature and art.

Makoto Ofune was born in 1977 in Japan. He graduated from Kyoto University of Education majoring in traditional Japanese Stile paintings. Recent public exhibitions include “On the Art of Building a Teahouse” 2017 at Neues Museum, Nuremberg, Germany; “Particules en Symphonie” 2016 at Saint-Merry Church, Paris, France. Eternal, his first solo exhibition in New York was held at Yoshii Gallery in 2015. He currently lives and works in Shiga, Japan.