Saturday, 8 October 2011

Tomokazu Yamada: Color x Color, Shimokita Art Space, Tokyo

This week, I discovered Shimokitazawa, an area only just south of Shibuya and Shinjuku. Unlike those monolithic mega-districts, though, Shimokita, though still full of fashionable young whippersnappers, has a totally different, much more village-y feel.

My jealousy of wrinkle-free people aside, though, I took an instant liking to Shimokitazawa. Because it's where I saw one of the most fun art exhibitions I've seen in a long time.

Tomokazu Yamada is a Tokyo based painter, and this was his first solo show, at Shimokita Art Space. A splash of colour hit me as soon as I walked in, which led me further in to this

and this

and this!

It was a small exhibition, but so well put together I felt I'd seen a bigger one. And the paintings were bold, mid-way between 'illustration' and 'fine art'. From far away they were almost like comics panels - sharp, sometimes funny, clearly the work of an extremely good draughtsman with an eye for the stories that pop out things you see around you.

Closer in, many of the paintings, bold as they were, took on a wistful quality - something light in the brushstrokes, maybe (?), that not only made me desperate to have several of them on my wall, instead of in a book, but made me look at them, and what I was doing there, in a whole different way. Here are some of my favourites
A Tree with a Boy, Acrylic on Wooden Panel 841mm x 594mm
A Boy with a Book, Acrylic on Canvas, 410mm x 410mm
A Frog

Erm, yes - I think that IS 'all of them'. The exhibition finishes today. I'm going again. I want to see it in London.

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