√K Contemporary proudly presents Shiori Horie's solo exhibition, A Breath Away from 3 April 2021 (Sat).
With the support of the Tokyu Foundation, the exhibition showcases the achievements of Horie's overseas training granted by her distinction for the Most Promising Young Talent Prize in the Fine Arts Division of the 26th Goto Memorial Cultural Award across three venues in Tokyo. Beginning 3 April 2021, the exhibition will open in √K Contemporary and its B1F exhibition space, Space √K. From the first-ever portraits Horie created during her time overseas, to the photographs she took during her days in Paris and original book cover designs and illustrations, the exhibition presents a variety of works that showcases Horie's developments.
Shiori Horie studied Japanese painting at Tama Art University and developed her unique aesthetic whilst studying traditional styles and techniques. Her works are sensitive and delicate, and a sharp vigor purveys through the seeming tranquility of her works. At her first solo exhibition in Kashima Arts in 2014, Horie presented paintings of animals and still life. Profound compassion emanates through the great detail and attention Horie dedicates to her subjects. Tranquil, delicate and ephemeral, you can almost feel Horie's subjects breathe life. Even further, through the empathy Horie maintains towards her subjects, Horie's works reflect her own inner tension between strength and vulnerability.
Horie's first venture to human portraiture came with her return from Paris. In her newfound exploration of these motifs, Horie's figurative works begs viewers to wonder, what does she express through the human 'gaze'? Is it immutability or fragility?
Ultimately, while one may never understand how Horie perceives her subjects, these enigmatic qualities within her work are perhaps what gives them their unique shape. Please witness Horie's developments that spans far beyond technical mastery.
To be just A Breath Away
I began making art because I wanted to render what I truly liked, and I wanted to give substance to their inner essence. I am allergic to organic solvents. Because I cannot paint with oils, acrylics, or any material containing chemical substances, I specialised in Japanese painting, and painted only with paints and pigments derived solely from minerals (such as iwa-enogu) or other natural materials, washi paper and glue. To me, natural pigments represent far more than materials for painting, rather, like a cell, they form the things you like by giving substance.
When making art, I begin by placing a subject before my eyes, drawing closer and rendering through continual direct observation. Although the subject is always in front of me, parts of it remains out of sight. By continuing this dialogue over an extended period, I want to draw in closer and catch a hint of their quiet voice. This is what inspired my exhibition title, A Breath Away.
Those who are hurt, wounded or hold sadness and distress are what draws my attention. These are the things I found in the animals, stones and dolls I have previously depicted in my work. However, when I went to Paris, people became a motif I wanted to face in my work.
I feel anxious about those who are silenced and, made to conform their surroundings, forced to sacrifice their true intentions. Looking back in history, such cases are widely evident. Those who spoke quietly were undermined, while those who disagree have been ostracized by society. The voices of 'those pained, saddened and distressed'. A voice likely to be trodden over by society. For the first time, I wanted to paint people because I wanted to hear these voices. I paint them, not only to empathize with them, but to be alongside them in their crusade. I want to keep reaching closer to those who are not here and to come.
【The Gotoh Memorial Cultural Award】
The Gotoh Memorial Cultural Award was founded in 1990 to honour outstanding newcomers in the fields of arts and culture in order to commemorate of the achievements of the late Tokyu Group chief, Noboru Goto, who strived to create a rich living environment. The Gotoh Memorial Cultural Award (Outstanding New Artist Award / Outstanding New Artist Award in Opera) is awarded to the young artists who represent the next generation in the fields of art and opera, and provides grants for overseas studies, and a subsequent commemorative exhibition showcasing their achievements. This exhibition is subsidised as part of the commemorative exhibition.
Press release courtesy √K Contemporary.