Y2ARTS is marking its next journey in a new space at Henderson Road. Since art is no longer confined to simply hanging on a wall, the bigger gallery space, with its ultra-high ceiling, allows it to showcase larger artworks. The space is more than twice that of its previous location in Hill Street. With this new space, artists could have the freedom to create works with varying sizes and scope, and allowing art enthusiasts to enjoy a wider range of artworks that match international standards.
Y2ARTS has a strong inclination towards identifying and developing new creative art forms and artists. The gallery, having successfully collaborated and promoted emerging artists to their worldwide collectors, is pleased to announce an interesting collection of artworks by Minimalistic Artist Jun Ogata. This is his first solo exhibition in Singapore.
Image de Fleur is methodically structured to reflect Ogata’s vision of transporting the viewers into the realm of minimalism and harmony. Creating invigorating works, Ogata brings us on a journey that is less actual but tactile and conceptual. His works displays ancient Japanese sensibility of divulging a convincing and refined relationship between the rigid sense of geometry and the freedom of association within the domains of memory and imagination. His astute process is a personal evolution in the realm of abstraction and minimalism, conveying both representational and abstract elements into an unfailing harmony.
Mirroring the concepts of famous minimalistic artists like Lee Ufan, Shinoda and Agnes Martin, and fusing with the essence of nature and the impressionistic floral art of the likes of Monet; Ogata adopts the means of abstract minimalism to affirm existence. This particular collection gives focus to the beauty of nature and the artist’s believe that “All things are in a state of Flux” – all things and events are constantly changing – a view that he truly values. In the artist’s own words: “My primary emphasis is on the colours. You can see the varied colours that changes with time and season in the garden.” Using colours, the artist is able to tease out the delicate sensibility of the seasons and its association with nature. The dialogue established by texture and his use of colours is captivating in his works, and it is a crucial part of his creations. With vague images of nature, the imaginative use of colours and textures; and seemingly simplistic gestures, Ogata brings us along the entire life-cycle of flowers and the seasons in Japan.
Another important factor is the way he uses the “beauty of blank space”. Ogata’s creations challenge us to imagine and be reflective in our outlook towards nature and life in general. It is the artist’s wish that we view his works with our hearts and be immersed in his calm and reflective world. The refined gestures in his works, coupled with uncommon restraint in visual art, create an emptiness that is paradoxically provocative and vivid to our senses. There is much spiritual and meditative depth that reverberates in his works than physical and visual depth of composition.
Jun Ogata’s work has been exhibited worldwide and his most recent shows have been in London, Sweden, New York and Tokyo. Jun is a graduate of Musashino Art University and the Department of Art of Wako University. He received his MFA from the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and pursued further study in New York on a scholarship from the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs. Jun has received many awards including the Excellence Prize at Musashino Art University, the Award of the Mayor of Kumamoto at the Kumamoto Biennale and the Encouragement Prize of Artex New York. Most recently, Jun was selected as a finalist of “Griffin Gallery Open” in London.
To create a work is to face to a canvas without a wicked heart. That exactly summed it up my theme of creation for me. The colors on a canvas appear naturally or not is the most important for me. For these few years, I have been exhibit my works in the theme or title of "ZEN GARDEN" especially in foreign countries. My paintings are synchronized with "ZEN GARDEN". Both are not a real nature, but a created natural world. The world of "ZEN GARDEN" synchronizes and expands my creation. Which is not only to inspire me, but also able to be the important keyword and tool to comprehend my paintings.
My primary emphasis is on the colors. The colors which was produced with mixture of colors on my canvas might be not in the real nature. But you can see the varied natural colors that changes with time and season in the garden. Ancient Japanese people had a delicate sensibility recognized these varied natural colors, withered colors of plants and varied natural scenery as a different color and named them all. Such flexible sensitivity of color is also very important concept for me. That has been realize the technique of how to paint the ground, how to mix the colors and how to superimpose the colors.
In Japan, there are "KARE SANSUI" (zen gardens without water) which express a waterfall, a sea, a flow of river and even a space with only rocks and white sand. Using the motif of rocks and sand as a symbol. It might be the world of "enlightenment" and "mystery". Also "KARE SANSUI" expresses a blank space with rocks. Same as the blank space on the canvas which was produced after drawing one line. Both the paintings and the Japanese gardens give a meaning of "Beauty of Blank Space" to the extra space. In my thought, the minimum and simple expression lead the colors of my painting to more beautiful and attractive.
Japanese garden and Bonsai are the straightforward expression of the Japanese aesthetic sense and modeling which use natural phenomena well with natural materials. My paintings which use natural phenomena such as water, air and humidity in the atelier are made in a very Japanese way of thinking unlike the strictly constructed Western paintings. Although sometimes unknown forms and colors appear, I keep creating with unnatural effort while repeating failures to pursue the "more natural".
Using a flow of water and natural phenomena is validity to express the infinite "colors of ZEN" and able to reach the "natural colors and shapes" more than a limited specific description or style of depiction. Although expression of painting is not so easy to create same as a flowing water, soil and air does not have a shape, I keep creating to pursue the "truth of paintings" like a natural scenery which glows strongly. I face to my paintings with such philosophy.
About the Work
To many people, the works of Jun Ogata are what they imagine contemporary Japanese paintings looks like. They are complex works that are so skilfully executed that they appear to be simple and minimalist. Yet, upon closer examination, you can see the attention he gives to the application of the paint, the richness of the colors, and the way he also takes away the paint in unexpected places. These are works that are based on the Japanese gardens that Jun has photographed throughout Japan. You will quickly notice the delicate Japanese traditional natural colors including the color of flower petals, reflections in a pond, and the leaves turning colors in these paintings. He cites Japanese and European traditional painters and “Sakuteiki” the oldest book on Japanese gardening as very strong influences on his work. Jun’s painting gives us a feeling of peace, relaxation and beauty.
For the viewer, you will notice the stress of everyday life disappearing and in its place, is a quiet, deep, reflective sense. Jun’s work involves both Japanese sensitivity and the traditional western painting's concept of ground layer painting and color painting.