solo exhibition “Transition”

Whereabouts 2012 tempera and oil on canvas 60.0 x 70.0 cm ©Yuka Kashihara


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.

Artist Profile

Yuka Kashihara

Yuka Kashihara uses oil paint applied in a thinly diffuse manner similar to that of Japanese nihonga painting, and by applying it in numerous layers she is able to create a unique depth of color. Within the world of her artworks, scenes from both reality and the spaces of the internal imagination are gently interwoven. Against this backdrop, having left Japan and moved to Germany where she continued developing her practice, Kashihara acquired an interest in the ‘distance’ between the internal and the external. This included the physical distance between Japan and Germany; and further, the distance herself as a Japanese person and herself while in Germany. This becomes expressed symbolically as an introspective speculation in the forms of the motifs of caves, holes, mountains and lakes which she repeatedly takes up within her work, and through this process of sublimation it is as though the original energies which lie dormant within the great Earth have become awakened.

Yuka Kashihara was born in 1980 in Hiroshima Prefecture. In 2006 she graduated from the Japanese Painting Department of Musashino Art University. In the same year she moved to Germany, and in 2013 she acquired a Diploma from the Academy of Visual Arts in Leipzig. In 2015, she was named a Meisterschüler (Masters graduate) of the same academy, studying under Professor Annette Schröter. In 2008 she exhibited at the Bauhuas Dessau Foundation in Shakkei (“borrowed scenery”), a solo show curated by research scholar Torsten Blume of the same Foundation, and in 2012 she exhibited in VOCA, Tokyo, where she received both the Honourable Mention Award and the Ohara Museum of Art Award.

1980 Born in Hiroshima, Japan
2006 B.F.A in Japanese Painting, Musashino Art University, Tokyo
2012 Stayed in Germany under POLA Art Foundation Grants Program
2013 Completed Diploma in Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig, Germany
2015 Completed Meisterschüler in Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig, Germany (under Prof. Annette Schroeter)

Lives and works in Germany