Photos by Thomas Barratt
MARCH 3 - APRIL 29, 2023
Opening reception: Friday, March 3rd, 5-7pm
“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 work by Japanese artist Yasuko Hasumura in the US. Twelve new paintings will feature a sequence of black and white abstract images. The show originally opened earlier this month on March 3rd. It will reopen on April 13th to inaugurate the new location of SEIZAN Gallery New York at 525 W26th St., Ground Floor, NY, NY 10001. The opening reception in the new space is scheduled from 5pm to 8pm on April 13th. The show will continue through Saturday, April 29th.
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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