April 07, 2012

Alone In Nature

Wilkinson Gallery on Vyner Street in London is presenting an exhibition of Japanese artist Makiko Kudo. Her colorful paintings reflect her own imagination while referencing classical Japanese imagery and modern manga comics in luscious landscapes. They also bring to mind Claude Monet’s impressionist depiction of water lilies.

There is a lone childish figure in the midst of nature in each of these paintings that reflect the isolated youth of Japan in the 90s, when she was growing up as part of a generation living in escapism against a depressed economy, and resisting the traditional social structures of her parents' generation. 

Floating Island below reminds me of the paintings of Hernan Bas, her generational peer growing up in Miami, also painting similar scenes of isolation in nature.

Kudo, like her peers, consumed manga comics and computer games, finding escape  in the alternate worlds of these mediums. These influences are reflected in the cartoonish, childish characters in her paintings, who seem to resist the constraints of adulthood and suffer from loneliness.

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