Tomoko Kashiki | Stories Told Tomorrow: Tomoko Kashiki


Ota Fine Arts Shanghai is delighted to present "Stories Told Tomorrow", a solo exhibition by Japanese artist, Tomoko Kashiki (Kyoto, 1982). The exhibition marks Kashiki's first solo presentation in China, where she will showcase 8 new paintings and sketched drawings.

Tomoko Kashiki's paintings pulsate between reality and imagination, confronting the corrupted yet beautiful and whimsical nature of everyday life. As Kashiki experiences the sights from her daily encounters, different scenery and figures melt together to form the imagery that underpins her work. The imagery accumulates, cultivating what Kashiki refers to as the "sense of bothering", giving her strong impetus to paint and tell tomorrow's stories in her unique contemporary language.

First sketched out in pencil then painted with acrylic on linen that are mounted on large, wooden boards, Kashiki's paintings silently radiate delicate material textures, patterns, planes and fluidity of movement. Her flat and sanded-down surfaces are designed so that she could paint fluidly, as if she was sketching a drawing by pencil. The style of her paintings are reminiscent of Buddhist paintings in the Heian period and Bijinga, pictures of beautiful women. The influence of modern Bijinga paintings has meant that most of her figures are featured with flawless smooth white skin, beautiful limbs and a beautiful demeanor.

The characters in Kashiki's paintings are often singular and perhaps she prefers not to define the gender of these characters in her work. They could be found floating in water, prostrated on the ground, trapped in a room, surrounded by dream-like environments, etc. In Sea Dream, a person is sleeping on a green carpet, within a room where pictures of the sea are shown on the walls. A water tank with sand in the foreground is superimposed, as such the person appears to be floating on water, almost like a jellyfish. Zoophilia is explored in The Love Between Goldfish and I, where Kashiki captures the expression and attitude of the person who is in love with goldfish. Seemingly trapped in a classroom, the person exudes the desire to be looked at or wanting to take possession by immersing beneath a layer of goldfish bait.

In His Favorite Green Dress, she wanted to paint three motifs: the corner of the garden, bushes of trees, and a person standing there. The person in this painting wears a highly exposed dress and is in a pose suggesting the possible act of urination, however Kashiki sees it differently. Instead, the figure stands proudly believing that their favorite green dress looks great on them. Elsewhere in I Want to Eat Legs, Kashiki is fascinated by the thought of people who want to eat legs, and the corresponding attitudes and feelings that come with such a desire.

In earlier works such as "Praying for Good Luck" and "Goldfish Boy", characters appear as fragmented figures, are headless or replaced by flower vases. While such scenes can be unfamiliar and disconcerting, Kashiki's intention was never to depict a discomforting image. Rather, she sees beauty and wonder in details, drawing focused attention to the fingers, limbs, painted nails, posture, facial features and expressions of her characters. Come With Me carefully reveals the facial expression of a person who is trying to induce another to wrong behavior by gifting a bouquet. It could also be the expression of a person who is trying to encourage another, who has been inactive, to stand up and head outside. The Hanged Man began with the desire to paint a person hung upside down and to depict limbs in a state of bondage. Despite being hung in an uncomfortable manner, the character reveals the ecstatic traps of an abused person.

By combining real and imaginative elements in her work, Tomoko Kashiki creates paintings that are personal, dream-like yet often verging on the ironic. Her unconventional compositions and curious narratives unveil painting's capacity to reveal beauty and jolt one's senses simultaneously. Ota Fine Arts Shanghai welcomes viewers to experience the stories of tomorrow, as narrated by Tomoko Kashiki.

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