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Featured | Yoshiko Iwai

Iwai says, 'To avoid putting oneself in a box, serendipity is very important.' Traveling overseas and to islands, she etches these experiences into her mind, transforming them into mental landscapes that shape her works. These serendipitously created pieces are vibrant in color, poetically composed, and radiate a sense of tranquility and brightness from the canvas. As a result, many people find her paintings healing and uplifting. Indeed, her abstract landscapes are masterpieces that invite viewers into another dimension, resonating with their memories and emotions.

'Island,' reminiscent of the blue used by Matisse (1869-1954), was inspired by the clear blue sea of Miyako Island in Okinawa in 2023. Under the intense sunlight, green represents the sugarcane fields, and the land and sand are depicted in brown and yellow. The resulting painting shines brilliantly, almost resembling the sea in Nice, in the south of France.

When viewing Iwai's 'Winter Day,' one can think of Van Gogh's paintings. Van Gogh (1853-1890) used yellow to depict buildings in 'Café Terrace at Night' and the moon and stars in 'The Starry Night.' While Iwai's painting features Van Gogh's blue as a base, the overall composition is dominated by various shades of purple. Van Gogh's intense blue may stir a sense of unease, but Iwai's gentle purple seems to have a soothing effect on a cold, dark winter day.

'The Red and the Black' is a novel written by the French author Stendhal (1783-1842) in 1830. In Stendhal's tragic story, Julien Sorel, an ambitious young man, falls in love with Madame de Rênal and Mathilde de la Mole, only to be sentenced to death in a trial. However, the image in Iwai's painting is of a happy lady relaxing in an elegant salon. In fact, the black in Iwai's painting has a grayish tinge, with shallow darkness, combined with bright yellow, yellow-green, and light blue, evoking a sense of ésprit and radiating brightness.

Yoshiko Iwai is a painter based in Osaka, Japan. She will participate in “Japan Contemporaries 8, Juried Open Call, Stepping Into A World '' curated by Motoichi Adachi and Kyoko Sato in July 2024 (Gallery Max New York). She has held solo exhibitions at Gallery Musashi in Tokyo (2023), RHIGA Royal Gallery in Osaka (2020, 2021, 2022), Art Gallery Marui in Hyogo (2017), Gallery Kiku in Osaka (2014, 2015). She participated in numerous group exhibitions including “Fukui Thumbhole Art Exhibition” (2009, 2012, 2013, 2020, Kanazu Sosaku no Mori Museum, Fukui) and Kansai Watercolor Society (2012, 2017, 2018, 2022, 2023). Graduated with a Piano Major from the Faculty of Music (1982), Osaka College of Music. Completed pre doctoral program in Child Studies at Seitoku University Graduate School(2012).
- JC

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