October 07, 2021 - November 04, 2021
Yoshii Gallery is pleased to present a group show displaying works by artists Eiichi Shibata, Makoto Ofune & Don Brown.
Eiichi Shibata (b.1970) is one of the oldest members of the Kobo Syu, a creative workshop for developmentally disabled adults, located outside Tokyo (Kawaguchi city). Shibata takes a special interest in drawing soap, fascinated by the rich vaporous texture of soap. He tends to have the game Othello beside him as he enjoys the sounds the tiles make when they strike against each other. Once he has satisfied his sensory curiosity, he focuses on his drawings. The paper looks as if it were slowly being covered in fine soap bubbles, foam, spirals and streams, layering the piece in bright colors or frothing monochromatic inks.
Makoto Ofune (b.1977, Japan) creates rich, luminous artworks by reinventing traditional modes of Japanese painting. Every element of his artwork is completely natural, created without any artificial chemicals or dyes. Through his use of traditional Japanese techniques, he is able to connect his practice to the rich cultural history that came before him. Ofune strictly follows an ancient traditional nihon-ga method of Japanese style painting. He uses a laborious process to obtain powered pigments (iwa-enogu) derived from minerals crushed by hand. These powder pigments are then mixed with a natural animal gelatin glue called nikawa in order to adhere the pigments to the Japanese hemp paper.
Don Brown (b. 1962, Norfolk) is a sculptor best known for his dedication to varied depictions of his wife, Yoko. Since 1999, Brown has been producing three-dimensional portraits of his muse using a classical tradition of representational sculpture, but without heroism or idealization. The figure, almost always with downcast or closed eyes, appears in various states of dress – sometimes obscured entirely in a ghostly white sheet. Brown creates a clay maquette that is cast in acrylic composite plaster. From this, a silicon rubber mold is made, allowing him to cast Yoko’s figure in a variety of scales and materials. Brown is celebrated for his technical virtuosity, demonstrated by pristinely smooth surfaces in both bronze and acrylic works, and his attention to minute detail. The reduced scale separates the objects from the ‘every day’ and draws the viewer closer, making apparent details that otherwise might be overlooked.