Acquavella Galleries is pleased to present a solo exhibition of thirteen paintings by the Japanese painter Yuka Kashihara in its Palm Beach gallery, from May 28-June 27, 2022. The artist’s first show with the gallery, the exhibition also marks her solo show debut in the United States.
Kashihara paints evocative, atmospheric landscapes that interweave observed scenes from the natural world with the spaces of her internal imagination. Drawing from the traditions of Japanese nihonga and Western painting, she applies thin layers of oil paint and tempera to create luminous, vivid works that are characterized by a sense of transparency and a unique depth of intensity and color. Although her dreamlike landscapes emanate largely from her mind’s eye, Kashihara has also been inspired by the diverse scenery of places she has visited, such as Yosemite National Park, Isle of Skye in Scotland, Lofoten in Norway, the jungles and rainforests of Malaysia, Indonesia, and Japan. Her paintings are often sparked by instigating moments while traveling or walking, views which she then blends with imagined, otherworldly vistas.
Born in 1980 in Hiroshima Prefecture in Japan, Kashihara received her B.F.A. in Japanese Painting from the Musashino Art University in Tokyo in 2006 before moving to Germany that year. Studying at the Academy of Visual Arts in Leipzig, Germany, she received her Meisterschüler (Master Graduate) in 2015. Her move to Germany, where she continues to live and work today, has informed her interest in the “distance” between internal and external spaces—the physical distance between Japan and Germany, the cultural divide between their countries, and the distance she has found in herself as a Japanese person living abroad. This fascination with introspective exploration, or as she describes, “digging” in herself, are symbolically expressed through the motifs of lakes, caves, holes, and mountains that frequently appear in her work.
Describing what draws her to landscape, Kashihara explains: “When I observe a landscape, I am fascinated by the layers of the past: earth, color, and traces of the people who were once there. I try to imagine how the first or last person perceived this landscape. When two people see a landscape, what they see is never the same: I try to find these differences and deviations, and then fill the created gaps.”