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On the occasion of her solo exhibition at LuogoArteContemporanea, Yoko Okuyama exhibits a series of artworks created between 2008 and 2015, united by the use of a particular washi paper processing technique, which in her hands acquires its own expressive autonomy. Typically produced using the vegetable fibers of the mulberry plant, this material is treated with a mastery that radically changes its role, becoming painting through the touch of the artist, who in her approach maintains the meticulousness and meditation typical of the Japanese tradition. The resulting works are characterized by a refined language where water, left to flow on the paper, gives rise to figures evocative of free associations in the imagination of the observer.

After a period of maceration, the cellulose mixture is spread on nets where the artist pours water, defining the final shape of the artwork which, once dry, is applied to canvas or fabric. The liquid, which acts as a force that dismantles and recomposes matter according to its will, constitutes the essential element of this artistic practice which, referring to Mahāyāna Buddhism, embodies the fluidity of life, giving Okuyama's creations a depth and spirituality unique, in a union between the creative process and Buddhist symbolism.

The concept of (空), translatable as "emptiness", manifests itself in the compositional phase in which the spaces generated by the passage of water integrate organically into the work and become a constitutive part of it, reflecting the Buddhist conception of complementarity and inseparability of full and empty. Emptiness, symbol of infinite possibilities and total openness and freedom in Eastern cultures, represents an underlying but crucial aspect in every artistic creation, substantial so that the different expressive forms can fully reach their potential in aesthetic and semiotic terms. And here the material amalgam recalls the features of an indistinct landscape, of an arctic flower, of the foam that ripples on the shore, of a seabed, of the lunar surface.

Yoko Okuyama's works summarize the experience of emptiness, from which form emerges and in which it manifests itself. In a harmonious and refined fusion of substance and absence, the artist shapes the void, offering viewers a unique aesthetic experience.

~ Lisangela Perigozzo, 2023

 / 空

Yoko Okuyama's solo exhibition

Critical text by Lisangela Perigozzo

✱ extended until 15 January 2024 ✱



Saturday 2 December, 5 pm

The exhibition is visible at LuogoArteContemporanea by appointment.

Free entry.

The works on display are for sale.

For further information please write to

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