YUJI KANAMARU: Splendid Waltz
2024.02.24 – 03.30
Whitestone Gallery Taipei is delighted to present the solo exhibition “Splendid Waltz” by Japanese artist Yuji Kanamaru, showcasing a collection of recent artworks centered around various animals, reflecting and resonating with the human experience. The exhibition will be on view from February 24(Sat) to March 30(Sat) with the opening reception scheduled for February 24(Sat) at 4pm where the artist will be present.
YujI Kanamaru was born in 1978 in Kanagawa prefecture, Japan. After graduating from Tokyo University of the Arts in 2001, he founded and led the artist group "C-DEPOT," which remains active to this day. The following year, he began his career as a full-time artist. Kanamaru utilizes traditional Japanese mounting techniques on wooden boards, combining collage with hemp fabric and English newspaper cutouts. He repeatedly applies vibrant and soft colors using acrylic and mineral pigments to create a textured and three-dimensional effect on the canvas. Drawing inspiration from everyday life, the artist incorporates familiar subjects such as animals, plants, and urban streets, constructing warm and comforting scenes. In the meantime, he generates multi-layered images and textures, capturing the ephemeral beauty of our daily existence and building a lavish tapestry of diverse colors. Through the viewer's gaze, Kanamaru's works summon a gentle yet profound magic, reconstructing vanishing landscapes, memories, and emotions, leading us into a layered and fantastical world that allows our inner selves to softly reside upon the ark.
In the exhibition "Splendid Waltz," Kanamaru presents two series of works— his iconic "Animal Series" and the recent focus on the " Annulus Series." From Kanamaru's perspective, animals have existed in the human environment since ancient times. Serving as objects of perception, animals sometimes transform between various identities. At times, they are reliable and dependable family members or friends, while at other times, they become objects of awe driven by primal instincts. Kanamaru considers that animals, as vessels onto which we project our emotions, fill the sense of emptiness and loss within us. He says, " I aim to express the subtle, invisible distance—neither too close nor too far—that connects the unconscious of the viewer and brings dialogue and empathy through these works." In his works, whether it be the fearless eagle soaring in the sky, the wise elephant on land, or the long-lived sea turtle in the vast ocean, all move forward, tread, and turn with a graceful rhythm, blurring the boundaries between human and animal identities. In the recent "Annulus Series," Kanamaru incorporates philosophical thoughts and concepts created by ancient civilizations, such as mandalas, zodiac signs, cosmic views, and mythology. The compositions of these works revolve around the motif of the " Annulus." Drawing inspiration from the vibrant and intricate color patterns along with the symbolic arrangement of totemic elements of mandalas, the cycle of eastern zodiac and the natural cosmic perspective of lunar phases, this series prompts self-inquiry into the essence of life while unfolding captivating animal stories. In Kanamaru’s view, the connection between animals, humans, and the natural environment is an eternal bond. Through observations of the world, his brush outlines animals as vessels carrying human emotions, concretizing people's mental landscape. In the fantastical world created by Yuji Kanamaru, all living beings dance through the flow of time and memories—one by one, a splendid waltz comes alive.
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