From ‘me’ to ‘we’ – how this gallery showcases the individual and community nature of art
10 Japanese artists highlight a wide range of techniques and symbols in this photo essay, drawn from the WeMe gallery in Malaysia.
Launched in 2014, PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 370 posts, we featured an art festival, cartoon gallery. world music festival, telecom expo, millets fair, climate change expo, wildlife conference, startup festival, Diwali rangoli, and jazz festival.
Based in Kuala Lumpur’s bustling Bukit Bintang neighbourhood, Art WeMe Gallery showcases contemporary art by artists from Malaysia and across Asia. It has branches in Singapore and California as well.
Art WeMe also provide professional art consultancy and art commissioning services to artists, collectors, galleries and exhibitions. It strongly believes that art is simultaneously an individual as well as a community experience.
The passion for art is most intense and joyful when the experience is shared with family and friends (We). The enlightening journey of art is also deeply personal and individually engaging (Me). Taken together, art is a boundless medium to express creativity, accomplishment, and values.
The exhibition this month features paintings, photographs and installations by 10 artists from Japan, and is titled ‘Objects and Images.’ The gallery lineup includes Ayumi Kidoko, Chisato Tanaka, Liao Ying Hsi, Naoki Kusumi, Natsuki Machida, Ryota Shiibashi, Shiro Utafusa, and Takahide Komatsu.
Izumi Akiyama specialises in pencil drawings, while Kunihiko Katsumata uses photographs to question perceptions of reality. Ayumi Kidoko is influenced by Japanese traditional art and ukiyoe (woodblock) techniques to illustrate natural objects like birds and insects.
Takahide Komatsu draws on another technique of Japanese painting (rinpa) to shed light on environmental issues, with images like delicate butterflies. Naoki Kusumi shows how plaster techniques can extend craftsmanship to artistic levels, beyond utilitarian purposes of building materials; his works adorn high-end commercial places in Ginza and Kyoto.
Natsuki Machida specialises in flower motifs, while Ryota Shiibashi uses photo collages to illustrate the beauty and complexity of nature. Chisato Tanaka builds contrasts on a jet black background.
Todoroki Tomohiro highlights imagery evoking childhood aspirations, while Shiro Utafusa also dwells on core images (‘curlyhair,’ sunflowers). Liao Ying Hsi’s sculptures draw on the symbolism of Chinese traditions, such as success (dragons, fish), prosperity (clouds), and dreams (wings).
The eternal circle of life and death raises many questions that may not have easy answers, according to Ryota Shiibashi. “I feel a sense of warmth when I am confronted with something larger than myself, such as nature,” he explains.
Now, what have you done today to pause in your busy schedule and seek true meaning and relevance in your pursuits of life?
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