Takuya Yoshida: Kawaii…but painterly

Five Exhibitions To See In New York In January 2024

TAKUYA YOSHIDA: Kawaii…but painterly
18th January -10th February, 2024
GR Gallery
255 Bowery
New York, NY, 10002

GR Gallery is excited to announce the solo exhibition of Takuya Yoshida, titled “Kawaii…but painterly“, which will be held in New York City. The exhibit will showcase fourteen new artworks of various sizes, all completed by the artist during his summer and autumn residency in Connecticut and New Hampshire.

The artworks feature vibrant colours and symbols inspired by Yoshida’s experience in New England, and explore his perspective on the mythologization of everyday life and his interpretation of primitive art. The paintings are executed in Yoshida’s unique style, characterized by a nostalgic and naive aura, and a thick and vibrant color palette. The works aim to reflect on the emotional and poetical connection between people and nature, society and environment, which is especially critical in today’s circumstances.

Takuya Yoshida: Kawaii...but painterly
Image courtesy of Takuya Yoshida and GR Gallery

Inspired by the idea of cross-cultural exchange, the title refers to the prevalent Japanese popular culture of cuteness, which is often infused with hints of innocence and melancholy. This style has been combined with a more Westernized pictorial and perspective approach, influenced by the myth of the Garden of Eden and the art movement of ‘Return to Order’. The artist, Yoshida, hopes to convey a desire for peace and universal love in his paintings. To maintain the freshness of this desire, he strives to complete his paintings in one go before his emotions fade. However, in the process, he ends up overpainting dozens of times until he is satisfied.

The creatures in his paintings may appear cute at first glance, but a closer look reveals distinctive textures and brushwork that evoke the Ecole de Paris era painters. According to Yoshida, overpainting is an indispensable process for turning his ideas and expressions into universal paintings. The motifs that appear on his canvases include creatures with a somewhat lonesome appearance, evenings, nights, and skulls. These motifs continually appear among rather strange and awkward likenesses of people who strive to be strong in the face of indescribable feelings of suffering and decay. Yoshida’s unique artistic vision is the expression of this not-so-lighthearted subject matter in a distinctive and fascinating way.

Takuya Yoshida: Kawaii...but painterly
Image courtesy of Takuya Yoshida and GR Gallery

His paintings use non-realistic colours and creatures to express eternal themes that people must confront, including the human-created boundaries of race, border, and gender, along with other boundaries such as Heaven and Hell. The world of Yoshida’s artistic vision, with its harmony of chaotic colours and compositions, is perhaps not an impossible alien world but a world of hope that can be realized. Yoshida confronts solitude in Hokkaido, Japan’s rural north, by overpainting day after day and imagining a peaceful new landscape on the other side of the canvas.

Takuya Yoshida: Kawaii…but painterly opens on the 18th January until the 10th February, 2024 at GR Gallery

©2023 Takuya Yoshida, Gr Gallery