Tomoko Kashiki: Tomoko Kashiki


To inaugurate our new space at Gillman Barracks, Ota Fine Arts presents a solo exhibition by Tomoko Kashiki, the artist's debut in Singapore. Reminiscent of Heian Buddhist paintings and bijinga, traditional depictions of beautiful women, the painter's exquisite imaginings are derived from her original "poetic sentiment and emotion."

Created through an elaborate method of painting, sanding and finely carving the surface of the panel, then repainting layer over layer, these screens open up an intimate world that suspends Kashiki's subjects between dreams and desires. This unique cumulative process has been honed - one could even say, fermented -- over the past few years, since her graduate training in painting at the renowned Kyoto City University of the Arts.

This reworking of multiple layers and washes is the physical articulation of Kashiki's own impressions, images that flicker through her mind, the landscapes of her emotions and memories. In an interview with the Guardian, the artist explains, "I am perplexed by how these swinging emotions can change a painting - these changes can occur many times, and so the painting becomes multi-layered."

Much like her wielding of the medium, Kashiki's compositions are also structured with overlapping, receding facets. They supersede the conventions of three-dimensionality by bleeding into the surreal. Amongst the 6 paintings and 10 drawings in our exhibition, an exemplary work of this sort of commingling is Painting of Shells. The ceiling panels and floors of the studio melt into each other at incongruous angles, losing their texture to a watery glaze, as if the wood grains were transforming into waves upon a shore. These interior spaces where she often situates her women are indeed identifiable -- the hallways, columns, windows, even electrical sockets provide the viewer clues in A Beast Hiding Treasure -- but they depart from the quotidian, interlaced as they are by fabrics and water.

As a result, Tomoko Kashiki's rendering of her central female figures allows them to become just as fluid, organic and sensual, hovering between everyday reality and a translucent daydream. This January, we invite viewers to immerse themselves in this intuitive world she has divulged with us.

About Tomoko Kashiki
Born in Kyoto in 1982 where she still works today, Tomoko Kashiki graduated with both an MFA and PHD in painting from the Kyoto City University of Arts Graduate School. Kashiki's languid women are a repeated motif in her paintings, existing within an intimate and surreal world. She has participated in international exhibitions including the 7th Asia Pacific Triennale of Contemporary Art (2012), the Yokohama Triennale (2011) and "Bye Bye Kitty!!!" at Japan Society Gallery in New York (2011). In addition, her works are included in a number of public and private collections, including the Museum of Old and New Art (Tasmania, Australia), the Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art (Brisbane, Australia) and the Toyota Art Collection (Japan).

Installation Views