Galerie Nathalie Obadia is pleased to announce its first collaboration with Tomoko Kashiki, on the occasion of the Japanese artist’s first solo exhibition in France. Born in Kyoto in 1982, for more than ten years Tomoko Kashiki has developed an unusual body of pictorial work that portrays an intimate and dreamlike world of yearning. She will present works unseen in France: a recent series of works in graphite (2013) and three paintings (2014).
Following a complex and meticulous ritualized process, Tomoko Kashiki covers a wooden panel with linen on which she applies successive coats of acrylic paint that she then pounces. Inspired by Bijin-ga, derived from ukiyo-e woodblock prints and painting, these “beautiful person paintings” usually depict women and courtesans, and is generally associated with the city of Kyoto, Tomoko Kashiki’s hometown. The effects created by the pouncing help to create an imaginary and ethereal world with no specific temporal or geographic location, and featuring human figures with unreal physiques. Bodies and shadowy figures with excessively long, flowing limbs huddle in tunnels or caves where they strive to rise despite apparently being held to the ground by gravity, deforming their joints and dislocating their long, languorous forms.

Tomoko Kashiki merges her subjects in pleasant, gently-coloured spatial compositions that soothe the vivid impression created by her twisted silhouettes. She develops her motifs with obsessive meticulousness and precision against smooth, unruffled grounds or in irrational architectures in recognizable settings (a bed streaming with water onto a floor in the process of liquefying like Dalí’s watches, views with an impossible perspective that call to mind the works of M.C. Escher, crumpled sheets that cover a floor like a cloud of crimpled, rumpled material typical of Jean-Honoré Fragonard).

Tomoko Kashiki creates her oneiric images with precision and clear intention, founded on the fragile conviction of her personal philosophy of beauty, depicting scenes at a precise moment imbued with personal subjective feeling. On the fringe of Japanese contemporary creation that takes as its theme the agitated and uneasy human masses in the country’s society, Tomoko Kashiki conjures up scenes in which the lone figures offer an individualized alternative to her subjects.