SHIHO FUJIWARA: Suiboku
July 9 - Aug 20, 2022
Whitestone Gallery is honored to present Suiboku (Ink), a solo exhibition of works by Japanese artist Shiho FUJIWARA. Viewing the gallery's Taipei location, this exhibition marks her first solo presentation in Taiwan. The show will introduce over 30 new works the artist created from 2019-2021.
Highly influenced by paintings from the Song Dynasty, and incorporating the traditions of Japanese aesthetics when Japanese ink art began in the Kamakura Era (1185-1333). Japanese ink art has since developed into various schools, spirits, and styles. Nowadays, the philosophy and techniques of Japanese contemporary ink art focus on breaking old habits. Not only does it abandons rich and figurative style, but it also constructs abstract compositions to express spiritual connotations with pure ink colors, creating new branches for ink art.
As an artist in her 70s, Shiho FUJIWARA started practicing traditional ink painting in secondary school. She traveled to Amami Islands in the 1970s. Inspired by the powerful form of ancient trees on the islands, the artist then decided to forge vibrant abstract paintings and three-dimensional installation works. FUJIWARA creates compelling abstract pictures by playing with Japanese smoke ink, washi paper, and water. Compared to Chinese ink, Japanese smoke ink uses pine tree ashes as the primary source of color, forming a rather thick texture. The artist adjusts the thickness of ink by controlling the proportion of paint and water and then immerses the washi paper in ink for an extended time. Such a process allows the work to build a complex and layered character. Moreover, she further punctures the washi paper, transplanting heterogeneous substances into the paper made of different materials: paper clay, Chinese ink, and even iron filings, to break the definition of a painting. FUJIWARA constantly challenges the possibilities of ink and washi paper, delivering the essence of the materials to the fullest.
Shiho FUJIWARA was born in 1944 in Nishinomiya, Hyogo, Japan. She now lives and works in Tamba Sasayama. The artist has received multiple awards, including Art & Culture Award (Kobe; 1992) and Fumiko Kametaka Award: Sekisyousya Prize (Hyogo; 2006). Her works have been exhibited in various cities: Tokyo, Paris, New York, Taipei, and Shanghai. FUJIWARA 's works have been the subjects of prominent collections internationally, such as the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo, Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, Horimitsu Art Museum, and Seine-et-Marne Prefectural Office Hall.
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