Whistle is pleased to present Water Sea Road, an exhibition of new and recent works by Eimei Kaneyama. This will be the artist's second solo show at Whistle.
Eimei Kaneyama's works stand in the midground of representation and abstract painting. He starts with a shape or form yet undiscovered even to himself, expanding through canvas upon memories associated with scenes, events, and articles he encounters in his daily life. Building layer by layer, dramatic landscapes of intensely contrasting colour simultaneously hide and reveal highly personal elements in their dripping, heavy brushstrokes. His interest in social phenomena merges with a subjective history and questions of identity within semi-abstract paintings and sculptural forms.
The title of exhibition, Water Sea Road, is a direct translation of the name Mitsukaido (水海道), or 'the road where the rivers converge with the sea,' as denoted by its kanji. Kanji—Chinese characters adopted by the Japanese and Korean writing systems, namely—are ideograms that are pronounced differently from country to country. However, while their pronunciation may change, their meaning remains fixed. In relocation and adaptation, in conveyance as water flows, they change yet stay the same. In Water Sea Road, Kaneyama continues to question and answer, 'who am I, and where do I belong?'
Water, the subject that runs through this exhibition, has spiritual archetypes of affluence and life, purifying power and sacredness. Yet Kaneyama instead observes our situation in light of the water: building, flowing, and repeating. An on-going self-portrait project is extended in the assembly of masks and triangular sculptures. Like his painted self-portraits, the act of building masks and repeating triangles becomes a memory of the past, self-image, and a ritual. Meanwhile, Kaneyama's abstract paintings may appear improvised in their free-form harmonisation of shape, but observation of the artist's attitude shows that the paintings are closer to daily records. From the factories seen in Houses (2014) to the red sea in the sunrise of bada (2020), and the totemic masks upon the wall, they reveal personal experiences and reflection.
Eimei Kaneyama (b. 1981) studied Fine Art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and currently lives and works in Seoul. He has held solo exhibitions BLACK, RED, WHITE, Art Major, Seoul (2019), OTTO, Whistle (Seoul (2017), and DIDITAGAIN, alter.ego, Seoul (2017), and has participated in group exhibitions at Atelier Aki, ONE AND J. Gallery, Common Center, and Salon de H, among others. Recently, Kaneyama collaborated with photographer Suguru RYUZAKI in publishing HAND / TINTED POST X.
Press release courtesy Whistle.