Asami KIYOKAWA: Incarnation

18 May - 14 July 2019 Shanghai
Press release

ARARIO GALLERY SHANGHAI is pleased to introduce Asami KIYOKAWA(b.1979, Japan)'s latest and most well-known work series in her solo exhibition Incarnation in China. This exhibition will show Asami KIYOKAWA's entire series of works, including 'Complex', 'Our story', 'Tokyo Monster' and the latest 'Mythology'.


There are many artists who make artworks with needle and thread in Asian countries and regions. When Asami KIYOKAWA studied design in Tokyo, her model experience for fashion magazines inspired her to unveil the personalities and stories embedded in the photographed figures". This inspiration later evolved into an artistic approach that connects embroidery with other art forms where the artist uses needle and thread to create new embroidered motifs over everyday photographs. To do so, KIYOKAWA has particularly chosen photographs of females in fashion magazines, where her reconfigurations generate the fascinating, chaotic, and bewildering visual aesthetics specific to East Asian culture, to the extent of suggesting metaphorical meanings.


The artist has special feelings for embroidery thread that is ubiquitous in our lives - it binds books, sews into embroidered images, and weaves into fabrics and textile. In Asami KIYOKAWA's work, although needle and thread are materials for decorative technique, yet needles and threads, books, and the body establish a unique tension among them. Yukio Mishima, Kawabata Yasunari, Omasu Dazai and other great Japanese writers of the 20th century have had a tremendous impact on the Japanese or even world literature. Likewise, they've equally influenced the artist, Asami KIYOKAWA. Her choice of using needle and thread as a means to intervene in other's stories, her colorful threads connect the words, sew phrases together, and bring people together.


This solo exhibition is entitled Incarnation with the consideration of the artist's visualization of the embedded stories behind the depicted figures with embroidery, as well as the paintbrush quality of the needle and thread, where neat stitches render vivid imageries. These patterns with seeming inhibited order, characterize neat and symmetrical visual representation. Furthermore, the images rendered with needle and thread seems relaxed, clear, stretched and appealing. These embroideries are not the artist's emotional reliefs but embody a sense of inhibition, confinement and reticence. All of which clearly displays the power of self-control. In fact, the thread overcomes the power of imposition and suppression, hence reincarnates through the power of order and "self-transcendence".


Born in Awaji Island, Japan, Asami KIYOKAWA works both as an artist and an art director for various advertisements. She held her first solo exhibition in 2001, and since 2003 she has been working with the craft of embroidery in her artistic practice. In 2011, KIYOKAWA became the youngest artist to hold a solo exhibition at Mito Art Tower. In the following year, her "Asami KIYOKAWA | Beauty Collection" series has made the record of the most visited exhibition. The artist's representative works include, "Beauty Collection" and "Complex" series. Her collaboration with Shuntaro Tanigawa on the picture book, Is there a God?, participated the First International Children's Books Forum held every two years, with the recommendation from the Board of the Japanese International children's Books Association. KIYOKAWA is the recipient of many respected awards, including the 'Best Debut Award' in 2004, the 'VOCA' exhibition prize in 2010, 'VOGUE JAPAN Women of the Year' in 2012, and 'ASIAGRAPH Creator's (Tsumugi) Award' in 2013. The artist marked her international debut at Milan Design Week in collaboration with the renowned product & furniture brand 'moooi', who organized and designed the brand's first flagship store in Japan in 2014.

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