Singapore gallery features art work from 3 emerging Japanese artists

The Dam, 2013 artwork by Kaori Tamura.

SINGAPORE - More than 100 visual art exhibitions open next week, in conjunction with Art Stage Singapore and Singapore Art Week. We preview one at Nikei Fine Art, a gallery which specialises in Japanese art. It will present Intricacy, a show featuring the works of three emerging artists - Kaori Tamura, Noriko Nieda and Maiko Kitagawa - highlighting new narratives shaping Japanese contemporary art.

Where: Nikei Fine Art, 01-34, Raffles Hotel Arcade MRT: Raffles City When: Jan 19 - March 15, 11am - 7pm (Tue - Sun), Mon, by appointment only Admission: Free Tel: 6338-9073 Info: Go to www.nikeifineart.com

Deepika Shetty

1 RAFFLESIA, 2012

By Kaori Tamura, tempera on wood panel, 45.5x37.9cm

A depiction of the large parasitic flowering plant native to South- east Asia. It is rendered in Tamura's signature palette of green and black, with hints of red signifying hope in moments of darkness. The Tokyo-based artist saw the Rafflesia, which blooms once every 100 years, in Japan, which is where she painted this work to commemorate the event.

2 THE DAM, 2013

By Kaori Tamura, tempera on wood panel, 25.4x18cm

Tamura uses a blue and green palette to create a detailed and layered painting. The Dam is often presented as an earthly element related to land and water. The artist takes it to a different level by using it to hint at the cosmos and constellations, drawn as she is to the symbolism of both. She takes it as a challenge to bring them together on her canvas.

3 THE LOVERS, 2012

By Kaori Tamura, tempera on wood panel, 84x49cm

In this painting, two lovers are portrayed as bird-like creatures with their beaks touching. The two creatures are depicted under the canopy of a tree in the universe. Adding to the mystery of this painting is an array of creatures and objects hanging like stars or constellations. The artist uses these to show how love, however deep, does not happen in isolation. It needs to survive many tests and elements.

4 WHEEL OF FORTUNE, 2012

By Kaori Tamura, tempera on wood panel, 84x49cm

Wheel Of Fortune depicts several bizarre objects and figures that are stretched out like constellations within a red circle. The red circle refers to both the red string of fate, which the Japanese believe determines the course of life, as well as the titular wheel of fortune, which is believed to guide destiny.

5 CHASING OUT OGRES, 2013

By Maiko Kitagawa, dermatograph on paper mounted on panel, 120x70cm

Born in Saitama prefecture, Kitagawa's works are inhabited by dark, mysterious creatures. Through her art, she wants to address the fear of the unknown. Chasing Out Ogres draws on Japanese folklore, such as that of the samurai-clad figure Momotaro (Peach Boy), who defeats evil ogres and returns with treasures to his village. A dermatograph is a type of pencil made in tightly rolled paper.

6PLAY IN THE FOREST, 2013

By Maiko Kitagawa, dermatograph on paper mounted on panel, 100x160cm

Boys fencing in period European costume amid foliage are a visual metaphor for how human beings are trampling on nature and our planet. The artist draws upon her reading of Eastern and Western fairy tales to create her characters.

7 KIDS OF OGRE, 2013

By Maiko Kitagawa, dermatograph on paper mounted on panel, 60.6x72cm

The creatures she depicts in her works come from her own imaginary world, in which creatures, humans and ogres can co-exist. This is to show how different types of people make our world what it is.

8 IN THE HOLLOW, THE CYCLE OF LIFE KEEPS PILING UP IN LAYERS, 2013

By Noriko Nieda, oil on panel, 90.9x116.7cm

Born in Saga prefecture, Nieda works with only traditional oil-painting techniques to create an unusual world inhabited by strange characters. She paints what she imagines microbes will look like, using a bright, vivid palette to explore their complex universe.


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