Whitestone Ginza New Gallery is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of Shuji Okada, “Rikka”. It is his first solo show of “Rikka”, a series that he began in the recent years.
Having a keen interest in living creatures and its environment, ethnology, anthropology and others for a long time, Okada has been trying various ways of expressing his arts with some ecological changes. Many of his works are originated from his field works, and pursuing his own realism by bringing out power from natural forms; transcending anthropocentrism, revealing abundance of the yet still concealed world. Through interlacing with the coarse world, he opens the circuit of sensibility. Such technique is the arts that Okada pursues.
The motifs of his new series “Rikka” are little flowers and wild grass. Okada was inspired by the Japanese traditional flower arrangement, Ikebana. The theme of “Rikka” is ‘arranging flowers with reverence as representative of divine spirit’. In view of this, little plants are painted visually with closeups and motions to give them dignified appearances, where we could also see a relation with animism and festival rites.
Such painterly expression of Okada has an aspect of realism at the same time combines uniqueness and contemporaneousness. By practicing the aesthetics that inherent in nature in modern ways that appropriate in the era of environmental conservation, Okada also realizes the unconventional approach to express the spirit of Japanese culture. At this exhibition, 12 works used for the covers of monthly economic magazine “New Leader” and latest large works are shown. It would be our great pleasure if you could feel the gorgeous space brimmed with the multicolored flowers.
Born in Kagawa Prefecture in 1959. After finishing master’s course of Aichi University of the Arts, Okada worked at Dentsu Inc. Completed the doctoral course at Kyoto City University of Arts in 2007. Awarded Umehara Prize for doctoral dissertation. Held large-scale solo exhibitions at The Museum of Modern Art, Shiga and Ohara Museum of Art (Okayama). Two artists Exhibition at ART TODAY 2009 at Sezon Museum of Modern Art (Nagano). Recent group exhibitions include “Nippon’s Realism Majic: Realism Art in Japan” at Hakodate Museum of Art, Hokkaido, Toyohashi City Museum of Art and History, and Nara Prefectural Museum of Art in 2017. He has received many awards, including the 2nd Ueno Royal Museum Grand Prize Exhibition Special Excellence Award, the VOCA Exhibition ’98 Encouragement Award, and the Daiwa Foundation Award (London). Many art works are stored as public collections such as Ueno Royal Museum (Tokyo), Ohara Museum of Art, Sezon Museum of Modern Art, Agency for Cultural Affairs, The Museum of Modern Art, Shiga, Takamatsu Art Museum, Osaka, Miho Museum (Shiga), Art museum of Aichi University of Arts, and The Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company (Tokyo). He has been a member of ADC International New York, a collaborator at the Kokoro Research Center Kyoto University, and a visiting fellow at Goldsmiths College at the University of London. Currently He is a professor and president of Seian University of Art and Design.