Boundless: Rina Banerjee, Yayoi Kusama, Yeesookyung


Ota Fine Arts Singapore is delighted to present "Boundless", a group exhibition by 3 influential female artists from Asia: Rina Banerjee (India / USA), Yayoi Kusama (Japan) and Yeesookyung (Korea). These artists' multi-disciplinary practices are a result of their limitless energy and drive to express themselves. The artworks shown in this show spans from watercolour drawings and acrylic paintings, to fine ceramic and mixed media sculptures. Although each artist's theme differs from the other, from figurative self-portrait to multi-culturalism and rejuvenation, what can be found in common is their constant exploration into art forms and self-reflection. As this year is an important time for each artist with international art projects, this show commemorates their achievement and further exploration into the artistic world.

Renowned for the use of repetitive and accumulative motifs, Yayoi Kusama's (b. 1929) artistic practice spans paintings, sculptures, installations and other artistic fields. Throughout the years, Kusama's visionary philosophy remains constant: it harkens to the universe, elevating her very self to the realm of the cosmic. As a Japanese woman who travelled alone to New York in the 1950s, this displacement became the very source of influence to her work. The artist has been exploring recognition of the self through a series of portrait paintings, from which 2 works will be showcased in this exhibition. Another highlight of her work in this show is a painting with high-heels motif titled SHOES (2014). Beautifully painted on a blue-black cloud net pattern, the high heels seem to be an icon of elegance and female beauty, yet it also omits the ambiance of firmness and strength.

One of the foremost artists of the post-colonial diaspora, Rina Banerjee's (b. 1963) work is intricate and enchanting. Having grown up in mixed cultural communities and urban sites as far apart as Kolkata and New York City, Banerjee's multi-faceted creations fuse the boundaries between East and West, transforming the way contrasting cultures are viewed and exploring singular and plural identities within our post-modern society. One experiences a thoughtful sensitivity in the multiple materials that Rina Banerjee uses in her work. Be it sculpture or painting, through the technique of collage, Banerjee is able to appropriately represent the density of the urban experience by suggesting contrasting phenomena to coexist within the same framework. Her sculpture work featured in this show Ground had risen to sprout new plant... (2013) catches viewers' attention with its colourful feathers, like a tropical flower flourishing in a barren land. Epoxy horns extend toward the sky proudly, representing steadiness and aggressiveness of its own.

Last but not the least, presented in the exhibition are Yeesookyung's (b. 1963) "Translated Vase" series, arguably her most well-known sculptural body of work. The artist collects discarded fragments of ceramic wastage flawed in the eyes of master potters from ceramics villages throughout Korea and reassembles them by gilding with fine 24 carat gold leaf. These sculptural montages are freed from specific historical referents, genres or conventions, and embody the artist's commentary on perceived beauty and perfection. The bulbous vases become highly suggestive: they may be the ample, elegant curves of a woman's body, or the contorted abstractions of pain. By allowing these newly configured ceramics to depart from the bounds of their native Korean ceramic cultures, Yeesookyung's transformation of their form yields to a translation into the experimental and the contemporary.

Coinciding with this exhibition is Yayoi Kusama's solo show "Yayoi Kusama: My Eternal Soul" at the National Art Center Tokyo, which opens on 22 February and will run until 22 May 2017. This show also commemorates Rina Banerjee's and Yeesookyung's invitation to the 57th International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia curated by Christine Macel.

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