Ré-former is the first solo exhibition of Japanese artist Yu Kawashima in Hong Kong, which showcases monochromatic paintings meticulously drawn with mineral pigments and ink, including a new series created by the artist for the exhibition.
Ikaros is one of the featured works of the exhibition, named after a character in Greek mythology, symbolizing the destruction of human beings due to arrogance and conceit. The artist believed that he was living in the era of Ikaros, and he commissioned this work to transform anxiety and discomfort into life energy. Living in the era of information explosion, people are immersed in pleasure and desire, full of pressure and struggle. Reminder is a series in which the artist hopes to remind himself and the audience of the inner reason of life. Other brand-new series include “Greed”, which visualizes the desire to gain understanding and recognition from an introverted society. Solutions that convey a strong will to deal with unfamiliar anxiety; erosion reveals unpredictable and harmful changes and phenomena in the information society, just like metal corrosion.
The artist applied mineral pigments and ink on traditional Japanese paper and washed the surface with water. This process was repeated to produce a unique aging texture, as if a concrete wall had deteriorated. For the artist, this fascinating process visualizes the passage of time, the traces of brushstrokes, and the process of his self-exploration. Every non-emotional, inorganic, and deep-level ritual character in Kawashima is composed of three models. By doing this, the characteristics of any particular model disappear, and the final presentation method becomes unfamiliar, but at the same time, the connection with the viewer becomes closer. He deliberately avoids the use of emotions in his art exhibitions, so that the audience has the opportunity to inject connotation and face and reflect their own emotions. However, when it comes to eyes, there is always something inside that the artist abnormally wants to reveal. By allowing his emotions to seep into their eyes, he can face his discomfort.
In an effort to use modern idioms to represent traditional Japanese painting in a sensitive but bold way, he also tried to provide a remedy, or at least provide comfort to the audience through his paintings.