Maiko Kasai Moonlight

2022.03.05 - 2022.04.02
Maiko Kasai Walking at dawn 2022

 Yuka Tsuruno Gallery is pleased to present Maiko Kasai’s solo exhibition “Moonlight” from March 5th to April 2nd, 2022. In her first solo exhibition in four years, she presents new paintings that follow the tangent of her previous creative process, while also examining the dynamics of a holistic point of view. At the same time she envelops her subjects with a gaze that emotes affective proximity, echoing similar observations in her personal life.

 Maiko Kasai has been exploring narrativity in painting by composing stories based on scenes she witnessed in daily life, or by reimagining un-told parts of pre-existing tales or of recurring narratives in painting. Her paintings, marked by bold brushstrokes and intentional negative space, sets the scene for the entrance of young girls, animals, figures in cartoon character costumes – precocious and playfully disruptive creatures who appear as others. On the one hand she re-examines traditional themes in Western painting, and on the other she integrates a removed perspective that observes several points in time at once, a characteristic feature of traditional Japanese picture scrolls, or ruminates on the main motifs in traditional themes of natural beauty in Japanese aesthetics (Kacho Fugestu). In doing so she seeks not timelessness but pursues a fascination towards the existence of narratives in painting that unfold in conjunction with temporality.

 However, her own relationship to this removed perspective – the sense of detachment between her and the existence and experience of others – has also altered as she spends more time at home and with less direct interaction with others. These lifestyle changes were brought about by giving birth, taking care of her newborn, the global pandemic, and the way more and more of daily life is shared by mass media or through social media. Kasai recounts how she has developed a sense of déjà vu reminiscent of looking at a large picture scroll when observing events that take place outside of her vicinity, as well as a subjective cognizance of being under a constant gaze. The baby monitor camera in her home feels like a benevolent gaze towards the domicile rather than an apprehensive one of surveillance, and the light from the moon that enters through the window provides an intimate and protective comfort that is almost divine.

 This experience dealing with multiple points of view that coincide in the same space, in a situation where her creative practice is increasingly in closer parallel to her personal life, has become a catalyst for Kasai to re-examine the presence of an aerial perspective in her own paintings. In her new work, a blue tinted moonlight coats the entire scene as a visualization of the transformative imagination towards narrative as Kasai paints the young girls, animals, and their relational proximity from a holistic yet intimate point of view.
Artist Profile

Born in 1983, Aichi and received an MA in oil painting from Kanazawa College of Art Graduate School. She received Second Prize in the Shell Art Award in 2008. Selected exhibitions include 30th Outstanding Rising Artists Exhibition (Sompo Japan Museum of Art, Tokyo, 2011), Shell Art Award Artist Selection (The National Art Center, Tokyo, 2012), and VOCA (The Ueno Royal Museum, Tokyo, 2016). Public and private collections include the Pigozzi Collection, Takahashi Collection, and Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K.
Exhibition Outline

Maiko Kasai
Date: March 5 – April 2, 2022
Opening hours: Tue – Sat, 11am – 6pm
* Closed on Sunday, Monday, and National holidays

Works in Exhibition

Installation View