Winnipeg artist Kae Sasaki EXPLORES the complexity of modern identity, and displacement that can be felt when straddling different cultures in her newest exhibition Blue Vessel.
"The first signs of awakening of self-awareness, how it first manifests in a child, and onward as we mature, have been a prominent subject of my recent body of work, and my paintings ask whether cultural memory and context are mere backdrops against which we play out our lives, or they determine whom we become. I depict my subjects in their auratic, inviolable beauty, and lend them strength and presence; in return they allude to little-noticed things or to clarify untold context.
I seek an imaginative revitalization of the narrative and atmospheric potential of painting by negotiating the ability of painting to create visual worlds that are both familiar and extraordinary, rooted in everyday corporeal and spatial experiences. I begin by considering the composition and approach to colour, and rework my paintings until they reveal unforeseen meanings that exist beyond any preconceived model. As the psychological component takes over, symbols and other elements are added to bring them forward so that the paintings would further open up in a multi-vocal way.
The resulting conceptual conflict is perhaps what brings my work into focus, as the paintings become mysterious in a way that attenuate engagement. The layered meanings in my paintings emanate from a profound emotional connection to life experience that allows me to engage my interest in perception, memory and narrative with the ever-evolving, often conflicting nature of contemporary painting.
In my painting practice I have created a method of patinated gold-leaf that evokes aged or damaged Japanese folding screens which consequently brings a distinctive complexity to my paintings. This technique, combined with various applications of oil paint including suminagashi (Japanese marbling), creates visual and tactile depth on the paint surfaces that suffuse the tide of mental elaboration with the sensuality of experience."
Blue Vessel opens February 3, 2017 at Gurevich Fine Art and is on display until February 25, 2017. Opening reception Friday, February 3 at 7 P.M.