Dr. Wilda Reviews: Chino Aoshima at Seattle Art Museum

7 May

Moi attended the press review for Chino Aoshima: Rebirth of the World at Seattle Art Museum. (SAM) Here are the details:

Chiho Aoshima: Rebirth of the World
May 2 – Oct 4 2015
Asian Art Museum
Tateuchi Galleries

Ms. Aoshima attended the press preview. Moi’s overall impression is a woman who has been seeking solace from a very early age. Here are some excerpts from the material SAM has posted at its site:

Aoshima’s work has undeniably dark images but a positive attitude. There’s no evidence of fear in her art. Her murals, digital prints, and drawings don’t want to escape from society or from the future. Instead, she seems to embrace all possibilities, including a world where the skeletons and ghosts reside alongside the rest of us.
Her work may look like a surreal fantasy. But ask Aoshima, and she’ll tell you she’s showing us the reality that our beautifully chaotic world may be hurtling toward….

Initially, Aoshima created all of her artwork in Adobe Illustrator. Using hundreds of vectors (points, lines, curves, and shapes or polygons that can be scaled), she controls her images with precision. She repeatedly uses the same data for such background elements as trees, and she also spends extensive time making modifications in order to preserve the organic curves of her depictions of nature—such as vines. Within Illustrator, she creates original images for most of the major individual elements of a painting, such as the figures. She then layers in colors….

Unlike other Kaikai Kiki artists, Chiho Aoshima doesn’t have formal training in art. She graduated from the Department of Economics at Hosei University and then went to work for an advertising firm, where a graphic designer taught her how to use Illustrator… http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/exhibitions/chiho

Artspace has a succinct biography of Aoshima.

At SAM, Aoshima remarked about her childhood and the feeling that she got visiting cemeteries as well as the effect of the Shinto faith on her world view. Her current artistic inclination was a rebirth of thwarted artistic inclination of her childhood. Artspace says:

Influenced by anime and manga cartoons, Chiho Aoshima stands apart from her peers through her exploration of the dark currents lying beneath Japanese pop imagery. She presents nature at odds with man, girls at odds with traditional gender roles, and visions of renewal after the apocalypse. She says of her practice: “My work feels like strands of my thoughts that have flown around the universe before coming back to materialize.”

Not formally trained in art, Aoshima graduated from the Department of Economics at Hosei University before going to work for the artist Takashi Murakami, who eventually made her a member of his Kaikai Kiki collective…. http://www.artspace.com/chiho_aoshima

See, Timeline for Aoshima http://www.artnet.com/artists/chiho-aoshima/biography

Moi’s impression is that Aoshima is one of the most technically brilliant pop artists working in the contemporary world. Her technique is crisp, precise and engaging. But, and there is a but that most folk either will not notice or care about if they did notice. The but is the overwhelming sadness of her work, which most will attribute to a bleak future promised by technology. Moi listened to her description of her childhood and the fact that cemeteries offered some solace to a lonely child, who has in moi’s opinion, grown into a woman who has never shaken that childhood sadness.

SAM’s exhibit is divided into three sections:

1. An overview of Aoshima’s work over the past 15 years
2. Digital prints
3. Animated Video

The video has so many levels, one must see it a couple of times to really get clues about nuance and the many different levels of expression. Dr. Wilda recommends Chino Aoshima: Rebirth of the World because of its technical brilliance and the singular world view of Aoshima, which one does not have subscribe to in order to appreciate her authentic, for her, expression.


Silenci? – Chino Aoshima – YouTube

A clip from the new animation by Chiho Aoshima, made in collaboration with Bruce Ferguson of Darkroom. The piece will premiere as part of “Chiho Aoshima: Rebirth of the World,” which opens on Saturday May 2 at the Seattle Museum of Art’s Asian Art Museum.

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