Culture / Art Republik

Dawn of Youth, Kato Art Duo: Young Artist Showcase

A preview of Kato Art Duo’s latest exhibition, ‘Dawn of Youth’ featuring three young Japanese print artists and one Singapore ceramic artist.

Oct 25, 2016 | By Staff Writer

Ongoing till November 3, 2016, Kato Art Duo gallery in Singapore will present their latest group exhibition ‘Dawn of Youth’, which will introduce young Japanese print artists, Nakazato Aoi, Tomone Sano, Miyuki Takashima and Singapore ceramic artist, Zestro Leow.

Nakazato Aoi (b. 1993, Saitama, Japan) draws inspiration from daily modern landscapes which remind her of her home town such as family restaurants, convenient stores and apartments. The Saitama Prefecture is as typically suburban as it gets, not famous for any specialty. These concrete, characterless structures have become motifs for her collection of print works. She transforms these suburban buildings into her oddly beautiful yet comforting prints with her subtle use of color and constant composition.


Tomone Sano; Opening

In contrast to Nakazato works, Tomone Sano (b. 1993, Fukui, Japan) is inspired by nature and the softness of organisms such as the human body and round shapes. “When I watch the jellyfish in the aquarium, I would feel the softness as if I were touching it and I would feel like I’ve become a jellyfish swimming in the water,” says Tomone. “When I lie on the grassland and close my eyes, feeling the gentle touch of wind on my face and the sweet scent of grass, I can feel my soul merging with the ground. When I perceive the human form in the same category as microbes, insects and plants, I feel connections with the universe.”

Tomone’s artworks seem to have a gentle, life-like notion to them. Her body of work consists mainly of copper plate prints and color pencil drawings. For her copper print works, she utilizes techniques such as etching and sanding to pursue the beauty in the black ink stippled line drawings. As for her color pencil drawings, she tends to create with the awareness of the transparency of the paper and the overlapping of the colorful lines.


Goodbye Mother (detailed view), 2013; Miyuki Takashima

Miyuki Takashima (b. 1991, Chiba, Japan) graduated in 2015 from Joshibi University of Art Design, printmaking course and specialized in copperplate printing. Miyuki’s copperplate prints are often of Japanese school environments and high school girls in their uniform. Her subject matter may look innocent at one glance, but at closer look however, her creation give viewers a sense of darkness and mysterious morbidity.

“In my teenage years, I did not see the necessity that everyone wears the same uniform. I dreamt to break out of these rules,” says Miyuki. “When I realized that it is the same world in and outside the classroom, I then understood that this world has no exit.”

Zestro Leow; Enshrine series

Last but not least, Zestro Leow (b. 1994, Singapore) graduated from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore in 2015. Zestro is a devoted Buddhist and often bases his ceramic creations on Buddhism. For ‘Dawn of Youth’, he will present a series of works, which are inspired by Shinto-Shrines (God’s House) created by stacking up individual wheel-thrown vessels.

He alters the traditional outlook of the shrines, and hope to express that even when every physical feature of functionality has been made obsolete, pure emotional beliefs still stand within his sculptures. Zestro explains further: “The function of an object which aesthetically enhances a space would be to beautify, however beauty is fickle and subjective.” So even when every physical feature of functionality has been made nil, its purpose and longevity is then found in the sentiments and meanings that we choose to instill.

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This article was first published in Art Republik.

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