Vivid Strata: New Representations of Asia: Firoz Mahmud, Rina Banerjee, Takao Minami, and Tomoko Kashiki


This summer, Ota Fine Arts is delighted to present a group exhibition featuring four contemporary artists from Asia all working in various strands of figurative representation, by means of painting, collage and video. Between Firoz Mahmud, Rina Banerjee, Takao Minami and Tomoko Kashiki, the artists' works undulate from sensuous dream-scapes to virtual landscapes and vibrant, dancing allegories.

Firoz Mahmud's sculpted canvases, stencilled in the manner of Bangladeshi Layapa art, allow for resonant fissures to emerge from traditional South Asian and Hindu mythologies where they intersect with dynastic histories of the Mughal Empire. Further along the subcontinent, the remarkable momentum of Rina Banerjee's works on paper can be traced to decorative Indian art, interwoven with the artist's own impressions and fantasies. Takao Minami presents digital visions of Southeast Asia, where he splices and layers his own observations of a trip made to Vietnam and Cambodia. Finally and moving eastward, the imaginings of Tomoko Kashiki open up a world that circulates her women in and out of surreal and quotidian spaces.

Conscious of their nuanced, ever-evolving Asian identities, these artists have progressed far beyond mere representation to shape new and vivid ways of seeing themselves and their region. Ota Fine Arts is pleased to present these works in the gallery's first group exhibition in Singapore.

Firoz Mahmud
Born in Khulna, Bangladesh in 1974, Firoz Mahmud completed his BFA and MFA at the Dhaka University's Institute of Fine Arts before attaining a PHD in Fine Arts from the Tokyo University of the Arts. Mahmud has completed residencies at the Rijksakademie VBK, Amsterdam, and the International Studio and Curatorial Program in New York. His paintings and installations examine the socio-political culture, tradition, history, myths and pop culture of his native land. Mahmud's most notable works have been featured in group exhibitions at the Aichi Triennale (2010), Sharjah Biennial (2009) and the Cairo Biennale (2008). He now lives and works in New York City.

Rina Banerjee
Born in Kolkata, India in 1963, the now New York City-based artist Rina Banerjee first pursued a career in the chemical sciences before completing her MFA in painting at the Yale University School of Art, where she won several prestigious awards. Her love of materials -- heritage textiles, fashion, colonial objects and furnishings -- coupled with the experience of growing up within communities of mixed cultural backgrounds and urban sites provide the content and context for her work. She has been featured at the 55th Venice Biennale (2013), the 7th Asia Pacific Triennale of Contemporary Art (2012), "The Greater New York Show" at the MoMA PS1 (2005) and the Whitney Biennial (2000).

Takao Minami
Born in Osaka, Japan in 1976, Takao Minami graduated in new media art at the International Academy of Media Arts and Sciences in Gifu and is now based in Kyoto and Paris. His creative works are an investigation into his immediate environment, which is presented to his viewers through audio-visual material, computer graphics, animation and installation work. In addition, he has undertaken work involved with scenic design for dance performances. Minami's recent notable solo exhibitions have been held at the Mito Contemporary Art Center (2010) and the Goethe-Institute in Hanoi (2009), and group exhibitions at the Taipei Museum of Contemporary Art (2011) and the Yokohama Triennial (2005). He will be participating in the upcoming 12th Biennale de Lyon (2013).

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. Tomoko Kashiki's languid women are often featured in her paintings within an intimate world of beauty, desire and dreams. Her paintings have been featured 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.

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