Artist Statement

 

My work takes on the ephemerality of news and information and how the emotions we bring to each tragedy in the news cycle are swept away by the wave of information that floods the media. I address this social amnesia through my art with the work acting as a social memory for tragic events so quickly forgotten in our information age.

 

My development of “Godzilla invading U.S.” series led to eventual refinement of my painting techniques. What initially started out as mimicking and paying homage to Asian art history evolved into my own personal graphic technique. While “Godzilla invading U.S.” series focused more on my personal struggle as an Asian-American citizen, my following project, “Baptism of Concrete Estuary” allowed me to reconnect with the Japanese heritage that I struggled for many years to forget.

 

“Baptism of Concrete Estuary” is the culmination of my knowledge and techniques. Through years of striving to find the means to articulate my personal vision, a process that I found moving from small to medium sized paintings to this monumental work. My intention in creating a 30 feet scroll painting was that the audience would be able to have an intimate look at the painting as in traditional Chinese and Japanese scroll, while also feeling overwhelmed by the massiveness of the paper in comparison to the individual.

 

Employing images of the overwhelming power of the Japanese tsunami and earthquake to inspire empathy in the painting’s viewers. I used visual color blocks and large fields to draw in the audience for a closer view, while the finer details of the piece keep the audience fixated and allow them to feel immersed in the painting themselves.

 

Accompanying the large scroll, reproductions were created for distribution. These prints, their distribution and ubiquity are intended to serve as a constant reminder that events such as this should always be remembered, especially since there are those in Japan still in dire need of assistance. This gave birth to my current “Disaster” series, which ultimately represent my belief that art should be accessible to its viewers through humanist tales of struggle and survival as played out in the prevalent social amnesia of the information age.

© 2017 Jave Yoshimoto

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