Perrotin opens artist Emi Kuraya's first solo show in Paris
The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Saturday, July 20, 2024

Perrotin opens artist Emi Kuraya's first solo show in Paris
Exhibition view of Walking in the Sky by Emi Kuraya at Perrotin Paris, 2023. Photo: Claire Dorn © 2023 Emi Kuraya/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Perrotin.

PARIS.- Artist Emi Kuraya (born in 1995) is presenting her first solo show Walking in the Sky in Paris. Her latest series of paintings and drawings feature a female protagonist, plunging viewers into the world of young Japanese city girls, both real and dreamlike.

In 2018, while still a student at Tokyo's Tama Art University, Emi Kuraya was invited to join Takashi Murakami’s Kaikai Kiki group. Murakami was fascinated by her universe, heavily inspired by anime characters, and rendered in the medium of oil painting. For a few years now, the artist has been portraying scenes of everyday life in a figurative and slightly surreal style, showing young women hesitantly transitioning from adolescence to adulthood. We see these modest heroines alone in city environments, the subway, parks, or roadsides. Sometimes they are in the company of a lover or dog, indoors or outdoors, in summer or winter, in a coat or a dashing miniskirt. Embodying archetypal characters or resembling self-portraits, the figures are always depicted with large eyes and expressions that range from joy to sadness. They appear to have been lifted straight from the world of manga or anime films, which Emi Kuraya has been deeply immersed in since childhood. Apart from the video games she used to play with her brother, she is particularly fond of the magazines Ciao and Nakayoshi, shojo mangas aimed at a female audience. She also loves animes such as Kirarin Revolution, Mirmo de Pon!, Toradora!, and K-ON!, as well as films by Mamoru Hosoda and Akio Watanabe. Her work is inspired by their clear, well-defined lines, focus on a single action and dynamic elements.

Emi Kuraya's art belongs to a new type of genre painting, using oil paint and delicate variations of color and light to depict everyday scenes that appear straightforward or mysterious. Her views of landscapes or cities are often based on personal photographs, complemented by snapshots she finds on social media or other images of contemporary society. Due to the global lockdown, particularly strict in her home country, she was compelled to engage in deep introspection, working closely with family, friends, and her own image. While some works convey a sense of melancholy that could be interpreted as a reflection of contemporary isolation, others depict unrestrained joy and laughter. Their meaning is always open-ended and ambiguous. The new series focuses on nature and landscapes, suggesting an environmental aspect. Yet, the artist remarks that it also conveys a sense of freedom and flight. The fact that she almost exclusively depicts women can be read as a deliberate commitment to her own sex. But she never expressly asserts this, blurring the lines by playing with symbols that are perhaps too quickly interpreted as erotic, such as micro-skirts, innocent looks, and pigtails. Emi Kuraya insists she is more interested in dismantling and deconstructing pre- conceived ideas, even those she herself developed in her previous works. She never wants to impose a single viewpoint or perspective but encourages us to slip into one of the depicted roles. She also pays discreet visual homage to those she admires in the history of art, like Lucas Cranach – she is mesmerized by the gaze of his figures – or Paul Gauguin in his moving quest for self-knowledge.

In recent years, Emi Kuraya has been focusing on her inner self while exploring the concept of "physicality." She is interested in the relationship between self-knowledge and the outside world, analyzing the link that unites or the barrier that separates these two realms. Some of her works bear witness to the absence of loved ones or invoke the mysticism of nature while always remaining firmly anchored in contemporary culture. She mentions Takashi Murakami and Yoshitomo Nara as Japanese artists who, like her, have challenged established rules through formal innovation, but also Mr., for his cartoon-like aesthetic, and ob, with her glaze-like backgrounds. But she's just as passionate about the ruins of Pompeii or the Yokohama Doll Museum, showcasing relics of ancient knowledge. In gradually evolving formats, her own characters move through worlds that are both realistic and fantastical, unified by a technique that emphasizes the transparency and vibrancy of the brushstroke – notably by using very thin layers of paint.

The artist prefers to work on a Gesso background, as it provides substance and roughness to the canvas, allowing her colors to appear soft and nuanced. These tones recall the effects of tempera, conveying a timelessness that reflects the artist's evolving relationship with the world. How do you project a part of your inner self while at the same time presenting a general image of women? How to be yourself and others? That's what the portrayed figures are about. Everyone can identify with them, closely or from a distance, like the beginning of a new story, which Emi Kuraya deliberately leaves wide open.

Marie Maertens

Today's News

September 4, 2023

Hezbollah sanctions case highlights frailties in the art market

Jimmy Buffett, singer whose 'Margaritaville' became anthem and empire, is dead at 76

A panorama of design

How an engraver straddles the centuries

Object permanence: Design classics of the future

Honoring Korean culture, selling perfume

After doubts about Puglia, a designer comes around

Perrotin opens artist Emi Kuraya's first solo show in Paris

Templon opens an exhibition of works by Jonathan Meese

Sheetrit & Wolf Gallery opens an exhibition of statues by Avner Levinson

Dreweatts appointed to sell collection of interior decorator and collector Robert Kime

Keeping it in the family: Generations of expectations for these design brands

Andréhn-Schiptjenko announced the opening of Siobhán Hapaska exhibition

William Turner Gallery to show new large-scale works by Andy Moses

Carriage clock owned by famous horticulturist heads to auction

Don't underestimate Jimmy Buffett's influence on style

Venice Film Festival: All your questions about Bradley Cooper's 'Maestro' answered

Channeling her anger, Ghada Amer looks to the future

Lost letter penned by literary genius Dr Samuel Johnson discovered in Gloucestershire country house

An unexpected hotbed of YA authors: Utah

Norman Pfeiffer, bicoastal architect of civic spaces, dies at 82

Reeling from heartbreak, and then 'Penelope' showed up

In Key West, where Buffett met his muse, the tributes flow

A Nicaraguan novelist betrayed by the revolution he helped build

Mastering Lawn Care: Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Embracing the Aesthetics: The Art of Interior Design

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez
Writer: Ofelia Zurbia Betancourt

Truck Accident Attorneys
Accident Attorneys

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site Parroquia Natividad del Señor
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful