Sunday, August 15, 2010

More of Kawamura

Found a loose wire on a painting in the living room, so I took it down for repair. But as it happened, the time between taking it off the wall and tightening the loose wire got extended somehow, and for much of the day the painting lay across a table. That being a different perspective of looking at the piece, I stopped several times to look again at the painting.

The artist is one I’ve mentioned before, the still young Japanese painter, Chinami Kawamura, who I consider a bright light for the future of Japanese painting. There is a large amount of Western influence and style in Kawamura’s painting, but she is completely faithful to Japanese, or at least Asian subjects. Much of her work is in acrylic, and I can’t even recall seeing anything done in oil, watercolor or pastel. I have a very large pencil drawing of two nude figures, and I have seen other of the artist’s work in pencil. Her skill in that medium is equal to what she does in acrylic.

The painting here is in acrylic, measures 23 inches by 19 inches, and is done on board. The large brown, almost round area is a dish or plate, and the viewer looks down from a bird’s eye view into the plate, at an arrangement of three vegetables common to Japanese homes and restaurants: eggplant, lotus root and green chili-like peppers. The small daubs of greenish-yellow and white below are wasabi mustard and grated white radish. Turning to a Western technique, the artist spread an English language newspaper across her ‘table’ and created a collage effect with gesso. This gives the appearance of dish and vegetables laying on a newspaper covered table. For highlights on the eggplant and green peppers she used silver leaf.

I am forever happy that I stumbled upon an exhibit of Ms Kawamura’s work in a small Tokyo gallery. I bought one painting at that show, and in the next two years bought other paintings and drawings directly from the artist. Of course, I could be wrong in my appraisal, but I have great faith that one day Chinami Kawamura will be a familiar name among Japanese painters.

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Oak Hill, Florida, United States
A longtime expat relearning the footwork of life in America