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CURRENT EXHIBITION

ROCK, PAPER, SALT
Hiroyoshi Asaka, Yasuko Hasumura, Moeko Maeda

June 20 – August 27, 2024

Opening Reception: Thursday, June 20, 6-8pm

Photo by Thomas Barratt

For our 2024 Summer Group Exhibition, SEIZAN Gallery presents ROCK, PAPER, SALT, featuring recent works by Hiroyoshi Asaka, Yasuko Hasumura, and Moeko Maeda. On view from June 20 through August 27, 2024, the exhibition showcases the work of three artists whose art making is driven by their chosen mediums. The opening reception will be on Thursday, June 20th, 6-8pm.

 

Hiroyoshi Asaka sculpts marble to realistically depict blocks of white Styrofoam. Carved entirely by hands with self-modified tools, Asaka’s sculptures present viewers with jaw-dropping details and precision. For this exhibition, Asaka presents a playful installation of Styrofoam box lids made of marble, intermixed with actual boxes of Styrofoam. A masterful artisan and trained marble sculptor, Asaka has chosen this disposable, everyday material as his subject to challenge conventional views on materiality and representation. Provocative questions are raised by his response to this "classical" medium, at the center of “Western” sculpture for centuries. The work delightfully nods to Duchampian Conceptualism and the Mono-Ha movement in Japan. 

 

Yasuko Hasumura makes abstract paintings with sumi ink and washi paper on canvas. Her ethereal yet powerful images capture light, darkness and air masterfully. She describes her creative process as “dialogues with material.” After graduating art school Hasumura continued her practice while also raising a family and shifted her focus to materials used in Japanese traditional art. At this time her role as an artist was expanding to also being a mother and keeping house.  She developed her unique way of layering feather thin washi paper with brushstrokes of sumi ink on canvas. “It’s a collaboration with sumi, water, and washi paper,” says the artist. “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.” 

 

Moeko Maeda employs a variety of symbolic, organic substances in her work, including salt, herbs, natural pigments, wax, and soil. She typically begins work on a piece by writing Chinese characters that appear to her during meditation onto a wood panel. She then applies the substances, each prepared to precise specifications, to the panel, covering the writing while doing so. With repeated application of layers of substances over months, the works “grow” as sculptural paintings. Intricate textures emerge from the crystalized salts, swirled with natural colors or pure fields of white. A passionate researcher of spiritual practices and histories of East, Maeda makes art using an intimate, ritualistic process. The resulting works are ephemeral and eternal, personal and universal.

 

Hiroyoshi Asaka (b. 1977, Osaka, Japan) grew up learning the craft of sword making and studied sculpture at Kyoto University of the Arts. He chose marble as his sole material to work very early on. His works have been showcased in major art venues in Japan. They are also regularly exhibited at Chicago Expo, Miami Art and other international venues. Work is included in public collections such as Osaka City, Oharayama Shrine (Fukuoka, Japan) as well as in important private collections. 

 

Yasuko Hasumura (b. 1958, Hokkaido, Japan) studied art and contemporary art theory at Tama Art University in Tokyo. After graduating, Hasumura chose a traditional path still widely expected of women in Japan; marry, become a householder and mother. She continued her artistic practice in a limited capacity for a time. During this period 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. Hasumura’s works have been exhibited in many galleries and museum shows in Japan and in the US.

 

Moeko Maeda (b. 1983, Hyogo, Japan) is an LA-based artist who makes paintings and performance pieces. While working as an assistant in the Studio of Paul McCarthy, Maeda began creating performance pieces featuring a stoic character, involving her body. She expanded her practice to include work on canvas using water, salt and other organic materials. Maeda’s works have been included in numerous exhibitions, including at Speedy Gallery, LA, Chimento Contemporary, LA, LAVA Projects, LA, THREE, LA and SCOPE, Miami, including Alexa Hoyer & Moeko Maeda in SEIZAN Gallery New York.

SEE AVAILABLE WORKS ON ARTSY

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