In the landscape paintings by Yuka Kashihara, existing sceneries and imaginary inner spaces are woven together like a fine texture. Such practices have grew out of Kashihara’s, who graduated in Japan and moved to Germany, interests in “distance”; physical distance between Germany and Japan, emotional distance with people and both cultures, and the distance inside of herself as Japanese and her living in Germany. Experiencing these “distances” and movements have brought her the changes in the perspectives, such as nostalgia for and alienation of the familiar places, and then made her face herself deeply, resulting in the expressions with motifs that convey her deep reflexivity, such as “mountain”, “hole”, “lake” and “forest”. She describes her practices as “digging a hole” to know herself. In the last solo exhibition “Amid” at Tomio Koyama Gallery in 2011, she presented these paintings.
In Kashihara’s paintings, many thin layers of oil paint give the original nuance and resonance of colors that enrich the motifs. This technique has been created by combining the techniques of Japanese painting, which she learned at the undergraduate, and those of oil painting. Kashihara, who has also learned the traditional European art, does not merely attempt the assimilation of different traditions, but observes the existent category critically, and engages earnestly in her artistic practice of “own individual history”.
The above-described themes that have been centered in Kashihara’s practices presumed that the existence of the earth was absolute. On her practices after the earthquake in Japan, which shook the foundation completely, she states:
I went to the forest in Leipzig. The same, usual forest. In some area, I found a special spot. It gives a feeling between hope and protection, as if I was in my mother’s womb. I just realized that I have actually been protected by “forest” and “lake”, whish I had thought that I was trying to protect very hard….My “digging” was always headed deep inside, but recently, it is turning to forest, mountain and outside as well. But still, by digging toward outside, I am trying to arrive deep inside of myself.
By the title “Transition”, Kashihara conveys the feelings that she is in the overlapped area of two circles. The exhibition will present around 8 new paintings, which are internal and deep, yet also open.