Two School of Art graduate students living and studying in Los Angeles as part of the College of Visual and Performing Arts’ (VPA) Turner Semester are currently showing work at a gallery in San Pedro, California.
“Wabisabi & Infinite Window” is the title of the exhibition by Sunyoung Lee G'18 and Taro Takizawa G'17. It is on view through May 4 at Angels Gate Cultural Center Pop-Up Gallery, 415 6th St., San Pedro, Calif. Gallery hours are Wednesday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; Thursday, 4-7 p.m.; and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m.-2p.m and 4-7 p.m.
Approaching abstract painting in a way that uniquely reflects their cultural heritage, Lee (Korea) and Takizawa (Japan) use processes and materials to explore the use of repetition in patterning and paminting styles.
Takizawa focuses on drawing and large-scale vinyl wall installations. The wall vinyl is hand cut but done so meticulously it looks mechanically produced. The slickness of the vinyl adds to the illusion of the absence of the hand. The drawings are made from the pooling of ink, undulations of the brush and the expression of the hand, much in the tradition of Japanese brush painting. Although the methods are different, there are similarities between the bodies of work. Both have similar repetitive imagery and there is a questioning of the origin of the marks and how they are made. With a background in printmaking, Takizawa expands on the idea of multiple reproductions by the layering and repetition of marks in meandering, curvy patterns that engulf the viewer, creating a space of optical levitation and meditation.
Lee’s paintings consist of marks that make up a painter’s vocabulary, a language of hand-made marks, erased marks, impasto drags and thin pools of color that play out within the structure of the canvas. Influenced by Eastern Minimalism and philosophy, Lee views painting as a starting point with infinite possibilities that can evolve into other forms. The space of the canvas is considered interstitial space, where the painted forms are determined by the light and shadow of the architecture in which it exists. Bright festive colors celebrate a painting’s formal characteristics and abstract elements move in and out of the void of gestalt space. By exposing structure, the contour line, the trace of every brush stroke, she is searching all possibility of painting without borders, an abstraction of invisible figures, sculptures and architecture that continues into infinity.
Lee and Takizawa are of a younger generation of artists influenced by Mono-ha and Dansaekhwa, art movements of the late 60s and early 70s. Continuing their legacy with the multi-use of material and process, they bring a fresh interpretation going beyond the goal of perfection and neutrality. Embracing the attitude of “Rendre tel quell tel qu’il est” (“Let it be”), they seek the infinite possibility of imperfection.
The Turner Semester is a residency program for a small cohort of master of fine arts (M.F.A.) students in VPA. The program allows the students to experience the arts of the West Coast and to live and work in San Pedro (the Los Angeles Harbor area) during the fall and spring semesters. Follow the Turner Semester on Facebook.