Curated by Thinkspace Projects
On view April 26 through May 25, 2023 at:
5 Sun Street, Wanchai Wan Chai
Thinkspace Projects is honored to be partnering with WOAW to present the debut solo exhibition in Hong Kong from the duo Giorgiko. Known worldwide for their enigmatic oil paintings depicting the bold innocence of their childlike protagonists, their universe continues to draw in new fans at an alarming rate.
In this new body of work, Giorgiko presents 25 new oil paintings and ink drawings featuring the artists’ exploration of the search for peace in its different forms and the costs of obtaining it.
Is peace born of conflict, or found in the absence of inner and outer turmoil? Humanity has sought control over themselves, others, and their environments in its pursuit of peace. But if this search for control has not brought us closer to peace itself, perhaps peace can’t be forcefully taken or manufactured. Perhaps it needs to be planted gently.
‘The Seed of Peace’ follows the journeys of childlike characters through scorched lands, tumultuous storms, and wild dogs in search of shelter. A divine seed that grows into a pure white olive tree stands in gentle contrast to the chaos of the environment, offering the children the peace that they seek. The artist duo draws inspiration from the sacred story of Christ’s self-sacrificing death and resurrection to bring peace to many – a story paralleling the death and rebirth of a seed, which grows into a new plant and offers shade to all who would rest under it. The artists invite viewers to join them and their characters as they contemplate their own sources of peace in its temporal and lasting forms.
Giorgiko (pronounced jee-OR-jee-koh) is the moniker of husband-and-wife artists Darren and Trisha Inouye. Giorgiko’s work deals with the affective dimension of the human experience through their childlike characters and mysterious dogs who represent the innocence and carnality of the human spirit and soul.
The moniker ‘Giorgiko’ is a play on the artists’ middle names: George and Songyi. Giorgi means ‘farmer’ or ‘earth-worker’ in Greek, while ‘-ko’ is the Japanese suffix for ‘child’. The resulting meaning of ‘earth-working-child’ represents Giorgiko’s ethos of depicting emotions through the eyes of a child.
Giorgiko’s work combines the simple sweetness of Trisha’s characters with Darren’s street influence, classical painting techniques, and playfully anachronistic elements, allowing their characters to transcend space and time. Through the harmonious blending of classical and contemporary in their paintings and drawings, Giorgiko explores recurring themes of feeling displaced, discovering empathy, holding onto hope, and retaining innocence. Characters in urban clothing seem stranded in the wilderness, while characters with historical attire loiter in apocalyptic urban landscapes. Long-forgotten space dogs dream of home, and so do pink-haired girls. Through moody landscapes and childlike characters, Giorgiko hopes to create a universe paralleling our own that opens a window into seeing ourselves and others sincerely and truthfully in all of our flaws and beauty.
Darren and Trisha first met during orientation at their alma mater ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California. Trisha hails from a Korean immigrant family in the San Francisco Bay area and was always drawing instead of doing homework. Meanwhile, Darren is a 4th generation Japanese-American from Los Angeles who fell in love with street art in his youth. They sat next to each other in Design 1, and the rest is history. The creative duo resides in the greater Los Angeles area with their twin children.
Giorgiko has exhibited their work in North America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Australia.
About WOAW Gallery:
WOAW Gallery is a contemporary art gallery established in 2019 by Hong Kong-based entrepreneur, fashion designer, and collector, Kevin Poon. Fueled by Poon’s love for art and inspired by the years of building relationships and realizing collaborative projects around the globe, WOAW presents itself as a dynamic, flexible and multifaceted hub for artists, curators, galleries, and entrepreneurs.
From its original location in Wanchai, over their second space in Hong Kong Central, and the latest large venue in Beijing’s iconic Blanc Art Space, the gallery is focused on presenting artworks by established and emerging international artists with a fresh perspective. Regularly collaborating with leading experts and taste makers from around the globe as well as organizing their own exhibitions, WOAW is adding Hong Kong and Beijing into the wider conversation about the cutting edge contemporary art scene.
About Thinkspace Projects:
Thinkspace Projects was founded in 2005; now in LA’s burgeoning West Adams District, the gallery has garnered an international reputation as one of the most active and productive exponents of the New Contemporary Art Movement. Maintaining its founding commitment to the promotion and support of its artists, Thinkspace has steadily expanded its roster and diversified its projects, creating collaborative and institutional opportunities all over the world. Founded in the spirit of forging recognition for young, emerging, and lesser-known talents, the gallery is now home to artists from all over the world, ranging from the emerging, mid-career, and established.
The New Contemporary Art Movement, not unlike its earlier 20th Century counterparts like Surrealism, Dada, or Fauvism, ultimately materialized in search of new forms, content, and expressions that cited rather than disavowed the individual and the social. The earliest incarnations of the Movement, refusing the paradigmatic disinterest of “Art” as an inaccessible garrison of ‘high culture’, championed figuration, surrealism, representation, pop culture, and the subcultural. By incorporating the ‘lowbrow,’ accessible, and even profane, an exciting and irreverent art movement grew in defiance of the mandated renunciations of “high” art. Emerging on the West Coast in the 90’s partly as a response to the rabid ‘conceptual-turn’ then championed on the East Coasts, the Movement steadily created its own platforms, publications, and spaces for the dissemination of its imagery and ideas.
Though the New Contemporary Art Movement has remained largely unacknowledged by the vetted institutions of the fine art world and its arbiters of ‘high culture,’ the future promises a shift. The Movement’s formative aversion to the establishment is also waning in the wake of its increased visibility, institutional presence, and widespread popularity.
Thinkspace has sought to champion and promote the unique breadth of the Movement, creating new opportunities for the presentation of its artists and work. Though still very much invested in the elevation and exposure of its emerging talents, the gallery, now in its 13th year, has come into its own with a roster that reflects this maturity. An active advocate for what is now one of the longest extant organized art movement’s in history, Thinkspace is an established voice for its continued growth and evolution.
The gallery has in recent years expanded its projects beyond Los Angeles, exhibiting with partner galleries and organizations in Berlin, Hong Kong, London, New York City, Detroit, Chicago, and Honolulu among many others, participating in International Art Fairs, and curating New Contemporary content for Museums. Committed to the vision, risk, and exceptional gifts of its artists, the gallery is first and foremost a family. From the streets to the museums, and from the “margins” to the white cube, Thinkspace is re-envisioning what it means to be “institutional.”
‘DARK MATTER’ explores the invisible forces behind the decisions we make and the narratives we create. The dark matter hypothesis proposes that 85% of all matter in the universe is unseen. Astronomers have observed that galaxies seemingly do not have enough mass to account for the gravitational forces needed to hold them together in clusters. However, there is evidence of a nearly undetectable, or “dark”, matter that generates binding forces in the universe while remaining a complete mystery.
In this body of work, Giorgiko plays with the idea that a significant percentage of our lives may be made of a different “dark matter” — one of untold stories, hidden agendas, and powerful feelings — which plays an equally significant force on our lives and our relationships with others. With so much unknown, what is perceived with the senses may only reveal a part of the story. Through this exhibition, we invite viewers to consider what we really know, what we don’t, and the mystery that holds us all together when, theoretically, we should be flying apart.
Sentrock‘s first solo museum exhibition ‘The Boy Who Wanted To Fly‘ is closing on Sunday February 12, 2023 so while you still have a couple of weeks left please make sure to visit the Elmhurst Art Museum.
For this exhibition, Sentrock presents a new signature mural in the galleries as well as animated video projections, a ten-foot-tall sculpture, a life-size birdhouse installation, paintings, and works on paper that reveal narratives about the Bird City Saint character, and its origins in the artist’s biography. The exhibition, across numerous galleries, will explore the dreams of a little boy living in an urban environment, the importance of his Mexican-American community, and why the boy has a bird mask.
The Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum and Thinkspace Projects are proud to present:
On view September 9, 2022 to January 29, 2023 in the SRP Room
Opening Reception: Friday, September 9 from 6-10pm
Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum
One East Main Street
Mesa, Arizona 85211
Dark Matter explores the invisible forces behind the decisions we make and the narratives we create. The dark matter hypothesis proposes that 85% of all matter in the universe is unseen. Astronomers have observed that galaxies seemingly do not have enough mass to account for the gravitational forces needed to hold them together in clusters. However, there is evidence of a nearly undetectable, or “dark” matter that generates binding forces in the universe while remaining a complete mystery.
In their new body of work, the artist duo Giorgiko play with the idea that a significant percentage of our lives may be made of a different “dark matter”, one of untold stories, hidden agendas, and powerful feelings; which plays an equally significant force on our lives and our relationships with others. With so much unknown, what is perceived with the senses may only reveal a part of the story. Through seven oil paintings and 13 special edition sculptures, Giorgiko invites viewers to consider what we really know, what we don’t, and the mystery that holds us all together when, theoretically, we should be flying apart.
About the artists:
Giorgiko (pronounced jee-OR-jee-koh) is the product of a collaborative experiment between Darren and Trisha Inouye melding minimal, expressive character illustration with large-scale classical painting. Conceived in 2012, the Giorgiko universe is home to lost boys and wayfaring girls, and explores the stories of their wanderings and their dreams of being found again. Urban and classical youth are portrayed in city and nature scenes as part of their journeys through the world.
The husband-and-wife team first met while studying art at ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California. Darren was attracted to Trisha’s authenticity and quirkiness, while Trisha was drawn to Darren’s dashingly good looks. Trisha hails from a Korean immigrant family in the San Francisco Bay area and was noticed at an early age for her talent in drawing. She brings a cuteness and sweet innocence to Giorgiko’s characters. Meanwhile, Darren is a 4th generation Japanese- American from Los Angeles who fell in love with hip hop dancing and graffiti in his youth, and the underground influence is evident throughout the Giorgiko universe. Darren and Trisha’s work blends street and cute to create relatable images for wanderers of all ages.
Darren and Trisha are parents to identical twin boys who keep the young artists occupied with finger foods and baby babble. Their greatest accomplishment to date is keeping their children alive.
Children of Divorce
On view September 9, 2022 to January 29, 2023 in the Project Room
Opening Reception: Friday, September 9 from 6-10pm
Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum
One East Main Street
Mesa, Arizona 85211
There is an idiom that says “it’s written all over your face,” which gave me an idea that regardless of what we say, our true feelings can still be emancipated by our facial expressions. For me, it’s a silent way of communicating something without noise. It’s where I find the inspiration
to literally remember those facial expressions and create artwork out of it. This mix of facial expressions with different symbols and patterns have led to the development of characters known as “ohlala” dolls.
We humans have the same mold. We all have the same attributes. What differentiates us is the circumstances that we were born into. And one thing that I want to emphasize is the amount of detail each ohlala artwork has. Like humans, some have little while some have more.
In many of my works, I discreetly take on socio-economic classes. Some people are born rich, some are born middle
class, some are born poor. But the common ground for everyone is, we all have to deal with it.
I cover all the ohlala dolls heads with canvas cloth to give a freedom to paint their own symbols on their heads; as if they are designing their own fate. I guess that’s what we all have in common; the power to make things happen for ourselves.
Acrylic, oil, and aerosol paint are my choice of medium in painting. Many times, I let accidents like drips, smudges and splatter help me to decipher what to do next. I start with very loose abstract figures to overcome the fear of an empty canvas staring at me.
In this collection of work, I try to become as personal as possible, using ohlala as my main character to depict some of my experiences that led me to where I am right now as an artist.
About the Artist:
Born in Paris, France, Filipino artist Reen Barrera didn’t have a lot of toys during his childhood in the 90s. He vaguely remembers owning two or three action figures but considers himself a “toy deprived” kid. Out of sheer boredom, he started repurposing materials, like wood and fabric, into mixed media figuartive sculputures and paintings.
Barrera studied fine arts and majored in advertising in college. Before becoming a full-time working artist in 2014, his professional work consisted of sculpting bobble-head portraits, graphic design and illustration. He has shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions all over the world. He currently lives in the Philippines.
We’re excited to announce the first book from Giorgiko, What is and what is not, through Thinkspace Editions. What is and what is not chronicles the duo’s experience of the 2020 apocalypse. Darren and Trisha this artist book from cover to cover and we are thrilled with how it came out.
What is and what is not includes new never-before-seen sketches, photographs, and entries from both of our personal journals, as well as full-color images and exhibition photographs from their 2021 solo exhibition at Thinkspace. This 96-page hardbound book is also beautifully stamped with gold and black foil on both the front and back covers and the spine.
‘What is and what is not’ – Hardcover Book
9 x 12 inches / 22.8 x 31 cm- 96 pages
Edition of 1,000
First 100 in the edition are signed by the artists
Written & designed by Darren & Trisha Inouye of Giorgiko – Published 2021 by Thinkspace Editions
$45 Standard Edition | $100 Signed Edition
Available next Friday, January 21 at 10 am Los Angeles / 1 pm New York City via our webshop.