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Carnival of Color

Onishi Gallery
521 West 26th Street, 212-695-8035
November 8 - November 21, 2012
Reception: Thursday, November 8, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

Carnival of Color Masaki Asakawa / Makiko Azakami / Mariko Ishikawa / Fusako Kuyama

November 8 – November 21, 2012 Reception: Thursday, November 8, 6 – 8 pm

Onishi Gallery is proud to present “Carnival of Color,” the second New York group show of Onishi Project, an art management division of Onishi Gallery and a showcase for emerging, mid-career and leading artists around the world. Onishi Project connects artists and art patrons across the globe, and enables patrons to locate original paintings, sculptures and photographs at affordable prices in the international art market.

“Carnival of Color” showcases the artwork four Japanese artists whose color palettes explode with vibrancy and creative vision. With paper sculpture, watercolor, acrylic paint, and mixed media, these artists deconstruct and reconstruct daily objects and environments that fill our lives, and present them in new, stimulating forms. Recasting our ordinary surroundings through prisms of color that animate them anew, these artists question the relationship between form and function as they recolor the world in extraordinary hues.

Masaki Asakawa lives and works in Tokyo, Japan. In his “Color Complex” series, Asakawa chose to explore society’s mass consumption via photocollage after feeling the effect of its instability and uneasiness in his own life. By reconstructing the automobile in these pieces, which he views as “the symbol of the mass consumption society,” Asakawa presents viewers with a reimagining of contemporary society. “The automobile, decorated with beautiful plastic forms by using the latest technology, has the ‘positive’ aspect which is the crystallization of human beings’ wisdom,” Asakawa explains; “But at the same time, it also has the ‘negative’ aspect, which causes serious problems for the sustainability of society.” Asakawa graduated from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music in 1988, and today he is a professor at the Yokohama College of Art and Design. His work has been shown in Tokyo, Kyoto, New York, and Milan, and was awarded the Grand Prix during the Esquire Digital Photograph Awards in 2004-2005.

Makiko Azakami lives and works in Tokyo, Japan. In 1985, while a staff artist at Sony Creative Products, Azakami snipped and pasted together a Godzilla made of paper. This beguiling creature motivated her to create more paper objects, and in a short time, her hobby became her career. Azakami’s creations have been shown in 41 exhibitions, 35 of which were solo shows. Azakami has been featured in many books and articles on three-dimensional art. Her work has been used on numerous book jackets, magazine covers, fashion posters and billboards across Japan. With great humor and breathtaking dexterity, Azakami turns prosaic objects of everyday life into, as she puts it, “Paper Toys.” Her first show in New York in 1991 was featured in The New York Times and New York Magazine among other publications.

Mariko Ishikawa lives and works in Tokyo, Japan. In response to the collection of paper dresses exhibited in this show, viewers always ask Ishikawa, “Can I wear them?” Ishikawa’s paper dresses are not wearable. They are handcrafted out of 1000 to 1600 flower petals made of super-thin, high-quality Awagami (washi made in Awa region of Japan), dyed with watercolor paints. Ishikawa treats the dresses as memory containers. Instead of containing people’s bodies, they contain the memories and desires collected in people’s minds.

Fusako Kuyama lives and work in Okayama, Japan. Kuyama frequently depicts aspects of nature that inspire her from air, water, and trees, to unseen elements that surround us. Color is a central part of her art as she layers transparent watercolors on paper that generates deep hues. Kuyama’s work is rooted in traditional Japanese art techniques and inspired by Japanese artists from the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, while also radiating a modern Western sensibility.

For more information, please visit our website at or contact Nana Onishi at or at 212.695.8035.
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