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Yu Hanabusa: SO-RA-KA-RA-KI-TA-RU

Nov.10 - 23, 2015

  Art-U room is pleased to present a solo exhibition of the latest paintings by Yu Hanabusa.

  Born in Kyoto, Yu Hanabusa studied painting at Kyoto City University of Arts. Visiting Thailand after obtaining her MFA, she discovered motifs that seemed to be her destiny to encounter. In the grounds of Buddhist temples, she found the vivid colors of plumeria flowers and sparkling white pagodas. She found stalls with rows of colorful flower garlands, and alongside them, dogs lazing about. Another motif came from the beautiful, seductive guys working in the downtown gay bars. Coming across these scenes seemed to energize some sort of circuit within the artist, triggering a profound empathy that transcended simple interest in a foreign country.

  From then on, as if to check that empathy one step at a time, Hanabusa traveled between Kyoto and Thailand over a number years as she built up her body of work. In the paintings that she produced during that period, identifiably Japanese motifs―such as scenes of the tea fields in the Wazuka area of Kyoto where she has her studio, and the stone lanterns of Japanese gardens―steadily developed a rapport with everyday experiences of Thailand. In time, these motifs intersected with oriental aesthetics like those of ancient dreams of Shangri-La, and a unique painterly world took form. And now, this first exhibition since giving birth last year brings signs of a new transformation, as if Hanabusa has once again received some sort of revelation.



  The title of the exhibition “SO-RA-KA-RA-KI-TA-RU,” meaning “coming from the skies” or “gift from heaven,” derives from two experiences. One relates to my feelings for the child born last year, and another originates in the surprise I had when beginning to paint after giving birth. The colors of the Western paints that I had used up to that point did not seem to work, but when I tried ‘Gansai’ (watercolor paints used for Japanese traditional painting) that I had to hand, I was mysteriously able to paint easily again. I felt as if I had been guided by some external power. I have been aware of Asian colors in my paintings for a long time, and I had been concerned about the materials I was using, but those concerns now seem to have naturally melted away. I don’t know what will happen in the future, but I have a feeling that I may proceed in a different direction from the one that I had been following. (Yu Hanabusa)



  This exhibition comes to Tokyo following its presentation at Gallery Yuragi in Kyoto in October. It includes some exhibits that are different from those at the Kyoto venue.



■ Yu Hanabusa

  Born in Kyoto in 1973. Graduated from Kyoto City University of Arts in 1996 (B.A. in Painting). Studied at Fashion & Textiles course in Royal Collage of Art, London the same year. Received M.A. in Painting from Kyoto City University of Arts in 1998. Solo exhibition 'project N' at Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery, Tokyo, 2002. Exhibited in 'VOCA – The Vision of Contemporary Art 2003' at the Ueno Royal Museum, Tokyo, 2003. Stayed in Chiang Mai 2004-2005 under the Program of Overseas Study for Upcoming Artists by Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan. Stayed in Bangkok 2007-2009 as an artist-in-residence at Silpakorn University. Received Grants from Pola Art Foundation and stayed in Bangkok in 2009. Won ‘Kyoto City Artistic New Comer Award’ in 2011. Currently lives in Nara.

Artist’s website:



● Date: Nov.10 - 23, 2015

     Opening hours: Tue.-Sat. 12:00-19:00. Sun.12:00-17:00. / closed on Nov.16

● The artist will be present in the gallery on Nov.22 and 23.

[ Press Release (PDF) ]



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