Fumi Nakamura’s exhibition “Look Toward The Future, But Not So Far As To Miss Today” debuts this March

FUMI NAKAMURA
Look Toward The Future, But Not So Far As To Miss Today

Opening Reception:
Saturday, March 6 from noon to 6pm

On view March 6 – March 27, 2021

Thinkspace Projects is pleased to present this new solo exhibition from artist Fumi Nakamura. ‘Look Towards the Future, But Not So Far As To Miss Today’ is a new body of work depicting flora and fauna. Each element is carefully selected to represent elements of life, memory, body and soul. Nakamura pulls from the subconscious, using metaphor and imagery to create striking pieces.

Fumi Nakamura draws inspiration from the Japanese phrase meaning “language of flower.” In line with this concept, each flower has different meanings right down to the positioning. Colors play a huge role as well, and each work becomes full of phrases and meanings. One tulip can mean a variety of things from “compassion” to “confession of love” to the “lost love” of a white tulip.

Different from her previous work in which she frequently incorporated negative space, this new series is filled up to the edges. Using custom “coffin” or “container” imagery, Nakamura takes inspiration from the funeral ceremony where we last see and connect with another being physically and reflect on the past together. This collection of works is layered and complex both in visuals and meaning.

masks and social distancing required at all times / schedule your visit here

Artist Statement:
Using fauna and flora as symbolism: each thing is carefully selected to depict my subconscious and unconscious mind about life, memories, body and soul.

In Japanese, we have Hana Kotoba which it means “language of flower”
For example, each flower has different meanings, and arranged/composed onto paper carefully (Ie: Tulip generally means “compassion.” And different color changes meaning of tulip; red tulip translates “confession of love,” white tulip becomes “lost love,” and yellow tulip is “genuine love.” Tulip also has a meaning of a “perfect lover”).

I also try to incorporate traditional Japanese floral arrangement, ikebana, where it was historically made as an offering by Buddhist altar during the Heian Period. Buddhist and buddhism desire to preserve lives and believe in rebirth and death is part of life. Unlike animals, flowers and plants can continue to grow/regrow even if they are detached from roots and soil. It is also considered to be an attempt to comprehensively manage the mysterious power beyond the reach of humans on the vase.

Unlike my older work where negative spaces were common, a new series fills the image up to edges. In a format of depicting a custom “coffin” or “container.” In funerals is a ceremony where we last see and connect with another being physically, and revise to look back at the past together.

Ken Nwadiogbu’s exhibition “Ubuntu” debuts this March

KEN NWADIOGBU
Ubuntu

Opening Reception:
Saturday, March 6 from noon to 6pm

On view March 6 – March 27, 2021

Thinkspace Projects is pleased to present Nigerian-born multidisciplinary artist Ken Nwadiogbu’s first solo exhibition in the United States. ‘UBUNTU’ is an ideology of humanity, often translated as “I am because we are.” In twenty new hyperrealist works, Nwadiogbu investigates representation through a focal-point of eyes as a means of discovering and revelation.

By recreating his own realities as a young Nigerian, his work projects the experiences encountered by black lives around the globe. Nwadiogbu invokes a humanist connection to the ongoing issues of police brutality, racism, xenophobia, culture conflict and shock. Working with charcoal and acrylic he creates a hyperrealist narrative that demands socio-political thought and discourse, bringing the ideology full circle by emphasizing an understanding that we are more alike than different.

Societal tendencies drive Nwadiogbu’s work and his commitment to technique amplifies the intention behind every mark. Nwadiogbu explains, “I implore us to consider our society as spaces we occupy and challenge us to think, in a larger context, about our role in these spaces, what we can do to influence these spaces and how we react to these spaces, because I believe, it is only then that we can discover the true meaning of Ubuntu.”

masks and social distancing required at all times / schedule your visit here

Artist Statement:
There will always be a need to understand and represent people in a different way. This becomes our way of discovering and revealing who we truly are.

My love for drawing faces of everyday people through ripped paper was born from a need to identify Africans in major global contexts. The eye became a major feature for me as it expresses and exposes more about us than any other part of the human body. My process of caring less for other features of my subjects and focusing on the eyes intensifies my every approach to represent us differently to the world.

The focal point of my art is on black lives; recreating my experiences and those encountered by the people around me such as police brutality, lingering racism, xenophobia, culture conflict and shock. Working with charcoal and acrylic, I am able to invoke empathy in the viewer forcing socio-political thoughts and discourse, and making them aware enough to respond to what is going on in the society.

‘UBUNTU’ can be expressed in the phrase “I am because we are”. My works bring this ideology FULL CIRCLE around the world to remind people that we are all more a like than different. We do not only bleed red but we were created to coexist, thus, for humanity to reach its zenith as one, we all need to uplift each other across the boundaries of miles, oceans and continents as a way to let Dictators and Perpetrators know that they have not won and that we are all willing to stand as one.

All I’m doing is presenting you the truth with being black in a society crying out for UBUNTU. I believe we need this and many more conversations about our society to grow and pull the world out of the third world mentality that was inflicted on us by generations of imperialistic rulers.

Studio Visit with Dulk for “Ephemeral Treasures”

Visit the studio of DULK and he prepares for “Ephemeral Treasures,” a special exhibition taking place in NYC with our good friends at Spoke Art.

What is the inspiration behind this latest body of work? Could you share with us a bit of your process for approaching the sculpture and jewelry line that will be debuting for Ephemeral Treasures?

Well, as with all of my paintings, my inspiration behind any of them is based on my trips all around the world where I go to observe the animals in their natural habitat. I love getting inspired in nature because those feelings are transmitted to the paintings once I’m back at the studio. This time I would like to go a little bit further and create a sort of window into the threatened habitats where the animals live.

I love to make sculptures of most of my paintings’ characters, and in every solo show, I try to have at least one hand made. In this exhibition, I would like to pay tribute to an extinct animal that passed away 3 years ago. It’s a very special sculpture because it’s a unique piece and it has a very special meaning to me. On my latest trip to Kenya I had the opportunity to visit the tomb of Sudan, at Olpejeta conservancy, he was the last male of northern white rhino and the feelings there were indescribable.

About the jewelry line, it’s been more than a year since I’ve been talking about it with my friend Gabriel Suarez who is the creative director of Suarez, a renowned Spanish jewelry brand. They already produced some jewelry collection with other artist like Okuda or James Jean and he asked me to launch my own jewelry line, I accepted immediately because it’s something special that old masters like Dali or Pablo Picasso did in the past.

It is a unique collaboration, in which the work of an author is turned into a piece of jewelry after a process of elaborate preciousness, in collaboration with the artist to achieve custom-made art. The jewels make up the exhibition as part of the whole. There will be 2 unique pieces available, one of a kind each, one ring and a pair of earrings, and I can say that I’m really happy with the result. The concept of converting the animals into jewels is something that I always strive for with my artworks and now with these pieces it’s more evident.

On view February 20 through March 13, 2021 at:
Spoke Art
210 Rivington Street
New York, NY 10002

Photo Tour of Roby Dwi Antono’s “Epos” and Edith Lebeau’s “Certain Scars Can’t Be Seen”

Thinkspace presents a photo tour through Roby Dwi Antono’s “Epos” and Edith Lebeau’s “Certain Scars Can’t Be Seen“. Now on view through February 27th, click here to schedule a visit to the gallery.

Photos courtesy of Birdman

Video Tour of Roby Dwi Antono’s “Epos” and Edith Lebeau’s “Certain Scars Can’t Be Seen”

Roby Dwi Antono – Epos
Edith Lebeau – Certain Scars Can’t Be Seen

February 6, 2021 – February 27, 2021

Roby Dwi Antono
What was the inspiration behind this latest body of work? What themes and ideas/idioms were you exploring?

This exhibition is my attempt to visit the memories that appear on the surface to dive into those buried deep in the bottom. It is not an easy thing to retrieve all memories, gather and organize them in a neat and timely order when they were born. Pieces of memory scattered in the middle of the map were piled up in the corner of the room. Maybe they really are not forced to be sequential and trace but random and not even traceable. The past that can be both good and bad.

EPOS is a kind of traditional literary work that tells stories of heroism. These epics are often stated in verse. Some examples of famous epics are Ramayana, Mahabharata etc. There is always balance, good and bad. Of course my childhood heroes were fictional 90’s characters. They are the things that provide a strong emotional bond. Whenever I feel lonely and have bad events, their presence will give me peace. Sometimes I even wish to be them.

Past memories are very influential in this creation process. Childhood figures that are deeply imprinted in emotional memories will be very interesting for me to re-draw into the work. There are many characters that I remember from various movies or cartoon series (Japanese and American) when I was a child. Like, for example, the old-school Kaiju in the Ultraman or Godzilla/Dinosaurs series. I think the kaiju have a strange physical form, they are like created from several combined creatures, whether animals or plants are modified into one whole creature which in my opinion is a pretty cool thing.

In this effort to dive into memories, I chose to try to look back one by one in the past from simple, trivial, and insignificant memories to very emotional memories. Then process this random memory and then present it into a visual language that might give birth to new meanings and feelings from the fragmented pieces of memory, whether it becomes simple or becomes even more complex and complex. On the way, this activity of remembering took me by and dragged my memories mostly toward the house, more specifically to the Family.

One by one the memories that I managed to capture were captured and broken down into details that may or may not be accurate. And that all open an assumption that the past that I experienced had a huge impact on me in the present. These memories are the accumulations of past human experiences that have always been the root of present and future events. Something that we do, even as a small child, can play a big role in our lives today. Time will continue to pass. Humans are always faced with worries and fears of a future that is always a mystery.

Edith Lebeau
What was the inspiration behind this latest body of work? What themes were you exploring?

My work is about mental health. This series of paintings is once again centered around characters who are going through things. They all have their own journey, their own issues, their own fear and tiny victories like we all do.

A lot of this show is about our past that often leaves scars if we let it. All of us have our own baggages and deal with it in our own way.

This body of works includes pieces that go from girls who start to deal with mental illness and phobias at a young age to 30 something women who are dealing with issues due to their past. Some of the themes explored are depression, phobias, fear of going mad (a reoccurring theme), acceptance, small victories/ overcoming certain issues, and hope.

I hope to help break down the stigma surrounding mental illness with my work.

”Empathy is always the key. Don’t judge, listen.”

Video tour courtesy of Birdman