Claudia Kogachi's work tends towards the personal. The artist often places an emphasis on everyday and leisure activities, using them to allude to emotional experiences. Early paintings show her engaging in competitive pastimes with her mother, such as boxing, chess, and table tennis, these serving as metaphors for the combative dimension of the relationship between parent and child. Lately, Kogachi has been making pictorial rugs with tufting guns. She began doing so during the nationwide lockdown last year, when she found herself with limited access to painting supplies.
Kogachi's first solo exhibition with Jhana Millers, It Is What It Is, centres on seven paintings (including two diptychs), which depict the artist being assaulted or impeded by a variety of creatures while she attempts to go about her business. Cockroaches interrupt a game of backgammon with her partner. Mosquitos prevent her from getting to sleep. Sandhoppers bug her while she sunbathes. The situations are real world, and all too relatable, but they also refer to feelings of frustration and angst more broadly. The bothersome critters become figures for the pervasive upset provoked by individual and community disputes alike. Anxieties, like mosquitos, can keep one up at night.
Claudia Kogachi was born in Awaji-shima, Japan in 1995. She graduated from the University of Auckland's Elam School of Fine Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2018. In 2019, she won the New Zealand Painting and Printmaking Award. Recent exhibitions include: New Artists Show 2020, Artspace Aotearoa, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland; Obaachan during the lockdown, Wahiawā, Hawaiʻi, Te Tuhi, Tāmaki Makaurau; Everyone Has a Horse Phase, Sanderson Contemporary, Tāmaki Makaurau; and Uncle Gagi, play_station, Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington (all 2020).
Press release courtesy Jhana Millers.