YASUKO HASUMURA: AIR AND THE VOID
MARCH 3 - APRIL 26, 2023
Opening reception: Friday, March 3rd, 5-7pm
Photo by Kenichi Hashimoto
“My work is a dialogue. It’s a collaboration with sumi, water, and washi paper. I also collaborate with air. I don’t force these elements onto my canvas. I let them be. I wait. They start forming shapes, then I ask ‘what are we doing next?’ They don’t always answer me right away. I wait again.”
— Yasuko Hasumura
SEIZAN Gallery New York is pleased to present Air and the Void, the first solo exhibition of Japanese artist Yasuko Hasumura in the United States. Twelve new paintings will feature black and white abstract expression. The show opens from March 3rd through April 26th, 2023. The opening reception is Friday, March 3rd, from 5-7pm.
During the lock down over the past two years, Hasumura continued exploration in her signature style: black and white abstract expression using only sumi ink and feather-thin washi paper on canvas. She creates these works as "dialogues with materials" which masterfully capture light, darkness, and air. Hasumura’s paintings are ethereal yet substantial, tranquil yet powerful, muted yet roaring.
The show includes a new series of works the artist is focused on “Ma.” “Ma” (間) is a Japanese concept often explained as negative space or a pause in time. Hasumura describes “Ma” as a “meaningful void” in her paintings, implying that the negative space is not subordinate to the main subject but can be the main focus. Hasumura’s approach to materials and spaces brings to mind masters like Yuichi Inoue and Hiroshi Sugimoto, as well as Lee Ufan, who she studied under in college.
Born in 1958 in Hokkaido, Japan, Hasumura studied art and contemporary art theory at Tama Art University in Tokyo. After graduating, Hasumura chose a traditional path typically expected of women in Japan; getting married, becoming a householder and mother. She continued her artistic practice in a limited capacity for a few years. During this time she encountered Noh, a form of Japanese theater originating in 14th Century. Hasumura describes it as a “Soul-trembling experience,” leading her to begin experimenting with traditional art making materials such as sumi ink and washi paper. This gradually developed into her current style of painting using this traditional ink and paper only. Hasumura’s works have been exhibited in many galleries and museum shows in Japan and the US including SUMI: Japanese Ink Painting from Post-War to the Present at SEIZAN Gallery New York in 2019.
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