Yuko Nasaka : Boundless
Opening Reception: 24th September, 5-7 pm
The Gutai group, officially known as Gutai Bijutsu Kyokai, is the first radical, post-war artistic group in Japan. Founded in 1954 with the aim to go beyond abstraction and pursue enthusiastically the possibilities of pure creativity, they emphasized that Gutai art does not alter matter but rather speaks of the delicate interaction between spirit and matter that ultimately enables art to tell a story.
Later in 1963, Yuko Nasaka joined this significant group as one of the Gutai`s second generation artists. Inheriting the pursuit for originality and bold spirits of the first generation of Gutai artists, Nasaka continues to experiment new technology and mixed media. Spraying and layering methods are used to add the depth of colors and to emphasize the changes in texture and pattern. Rooted deeply in traditional Japanese esthetics while exploring the world of the avant-garde, Yuko Nasaka expresses the ancient beauty of Japanese culture through modern art form. Nasaka remained a member of Gutai until its dissolution in 1972, showing work at Gutai-related exhibitions in Japan and overseas.
`Boundless` is the first solo exhibition of Yuko Nasaka in Hong Kong. The artist had broken a long silence and created series of new works for this exhibition which will be held in Whitestone Gallery`s spacious Wong Chuk Hang venue.
To those familiar with her past creations, it will a pleasant surprise to realize that the quality and its intensity of her works still resonate with viewers. The essence of its formidable vitality is calm, suggestive even of a feeling of boundlessness. The circle images repeat and connect form a single universe, multiplied by the artist and transcends physical boundaries of the space. Like a traditional Zen garden, her works silently invite viewers to meditative state with swirling movements and ghost shade meticulously created by the artist. Nasaka probably never physically destroyed or distorted two dimensionality of the painting, but she somehow understood how to go beyond the picture plane with her alchemical trick of material, color and her relentless spirit.
About the artist
Born in Osaka in 1938. Yuko Nasaka entered a work into the 15th Ashiya Art Exhibition of 1962, which consisted of a vast number of holes drilled into a piece of cardboard. From that occasion she met Gutai founder Jiro Yoshihara, and it was decided that he would become her mentor. The next year she became a full Gutai member, and over 9 years participated in group activities until Yoshihara’s death in 1972.
From the Gutai group’s golden era of the 1960s until the present day, Yuko Nasaka has been consistently making images of concentric circles painted in relief. After using a rotating plate and resin cement to make the pictures, she then joins them together into large grid-like composite artworks. These works can become so enormous that they begin to take over entire walls. Through emphasizing the images’ repetition and accumulation, Nasaka is able to create a feeling of infinite space, leaving viewers with the impression that they might go on forever. It is this “expression of space” therefore, that is Nasaka’s true originality. Moreover the activation of length, height, depth and time simultaneously to create artworks in four-dimensional space is a consistent thread that runs throughout all Gutai artworks.
Selected recent institutional exhibitions include `GUTAI: The spirit of the era,` The National Art Center Tokyo(2012), `Gutai: Splendid Playground, Guggenheim Museum New York(2013), `Gutaijin,` Karuizawa New Art Museum, Japan(2015), A Taste of Gutai, Ayala Museum, Manila(2016).