Art Exhibition Review: Works On Nature & Dance/Movement By Hiroko Imada
Expressive moods in colour!
Riverside Studios Gallery London – 16 March – 7 April 2013
On Monday, 18 March Diverse Japan attended a private viewing of the exhibition Works on Nature & Dance/Movement by Japanese artist Hiroko Imada, which is being held at the Riverside Studios Gallery in London from 16 March until 7 April (see foot of post for opening times). The exhibition is registered with JapanJap400, a collection of events, including the stage production of Anjin: The Shogun and the English Samurai, taking place throughout 2013 to commemorate the start of diplomatic, trading, scientific and cultural relations between Britain and Japan in 1613.
The weather that day was cold, wet and dreary, typical for London this time of year, and a real contrast to the works on display. The strong warm colours dispel any sombre thoughts or feelings one might have had before entering the exhibition proving that a painting can indeed alter our mood and emotions, and could even have healing qualities.
The rich, lush colours Hiroko uses convey her personal interaction with the painted subject. With her strong brushstrokes she doesn’t try to imitate the natural world or a form of dance as much as she tries to express their spirit by harmoniously arranging the colours and shades. For example: She marries well the intense red against a calm blue in the painting ‘Shepherd’s Cottage Garden II’, and the yellow and green applied to ‘Study for Summer Garden IV’ effortlessly intertwine, becoming lost in one another. In some of her work Hiroko’s style appears unconventional and yet gives the impression of being very structured.
You may be forgiven for first thinking that her work is of a feminine quality only, but you will soon see as you pass along the exhibition that there are other pieces such as ‘The Waterfall in Summer’ that are very masculine in manner and are cooling in comparison, therefore, consequently, ensuing a fine balance of yin and yang – female and male. Certainly, although her style may appear to be mainly of Western influence the choice of colours and their various tones she applies to her work are very much in keeping with this Eastern philosophy of opposites: cold (yin) and hot (yang); dark (yin) and light (yang). We can also see how as a student of ballet Hiroko has applied her skills in movement of the body to selected pieces. As we gaze upon ‘Valse Brillante’ we begin to imagine the brush becoming an extension of her allonge arm as she maintains aplomb whilst rhythmically painting on canvas at a joyous pace.
Overall, Hiroko has without a glitch achieved what she had set out to do, which is to present works inspired by her two primary passions – Nature and Dance/Movement – using various two dimensional techniques. The result is pure and honest.
DJ recommends you take the time to visit this exhibition and see and feel for yourself the power and energy of the combination between movement and colour within the artistic work of Hiroko Imada.
All the pieces within the showcase are for sale.
About Hiroko Imada
Born in Tokyo, Hiroko Imada studied at the Tokyo Zokei University and later at The Slade School of Fine Art (University College London). Her degree show in 1992 caught the attention of Times Art Critic David Cohen, who described her work as ‘heralding an impressive new talent’. In 1992, Hiroko was awarded the British Council Fellowship for her achievements at The Slade. She is now based in London.
Hiroko works in various different media and has lectured at universities including University College London, University of the Arts London, as well as at art colleges and higher education schools throughout the UK. She also specializes in teaching Japanese woodblock printing, papermaking and folded screen making, and established a Japanese woodblock printing course at the British Museum in 2000. Since then, she has been teaching there regularly. In addition, Hiroko has held workshops at the Victoria & Albert Museum, Durham Oriental Museum and Bristol City Museum, as well as at many other museums and art galleries. Since 2008, she has been invited to run the Japanese Woodblock Printing workshop at the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin every year.
Hiroko has exhibited throughout Europe and Japan.
Riverside Studios Gallery info:
Crisp Road, London, W6 9RL – Map
Mon-Fri 10.00-22.00, Sat 10.00-22.00, Sun 10.00-22.00
Daily 14.00-21.00 (excluding holiday periods)
Tel. 020 8237 1001
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