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Hiroko Shiina

Romantic Garden

(Tue) ~ 21 (Sun) July 2024

 

 

   The exhibition 'Romantic Garden' by Hiroko Shiina encourages viewers to delve into the artist’s personal exploration aimed at understanding the secrets of the world, the role of love, and death.

Deeply connected with the romantic worldview, Shiina’s work also strives for the most complete expression of the complexity of the artist’s experiences and feelings.

The plot gives way to a statement about experience, with the narrative assembled from many symbolic details that create a tragic yet ironic space, where one meaning complements the other. Elements of the picture hide opposite meanings, creating a playful gap and space for controversy.

A mysterious world filled with phantasmagoric characters, plants, and combining details and objects that cannot be combined in reality appears before the viewer as a dream transferred to paper. Indeed, the artist perceives dreams as a source of individual concept, giving preference to intuition as the main form of knowledge of the world.

The detail with which Shiina depicts the world of her fantasy mystifies the viewer. The composition is based on color spots for which the artist uses coffee. This tinting gives the work a vintage look and is one of the recognizable elements inherent in the artist’s work. The color palette tends to dark tones—velvety black, gray, pale green, coffee, and aged gold—and most fully reflects the mood in the works, giving them a touch of mystery. The images of objects and ornaments surprise with their fine detail, conveying a sense of the reality of the unreal.

Noting the uniqueness of Hiroko Shiina’s artistic language, we can safely say that her work is richly saturated with romanticism, which is essentially the air of modern culture.

Moreover, the exhibition seamlessly integrates art with fashion design, reminiscent of the ethos of William Morris. Just as Morris integrated art into everyday life through his designs, 'Romantic Garden' will feature silks adorned with prints inspired by the works of Hiroko Shiina. This fusion of art and practicality offers visitors a tactile and visual immersion into the enchanting world of Shiina's creations.

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    There's a unique pleasure in encountering something unfamiliar and intriguing. Hiroko Shiina delves deep into the complexities of the female psyche, exploring cultivated realms of imagination. She unveils a mysterious parallel world—a cursed, enchanted space where time and space lose their grip. In this realm, images flicker and flutter, hair dances without wind, and streams of water and blood expand and contract. We hear the whispers of growing grass and the rhythmic pulse of a fetus's heart, while bones transform into landscapes against a velvety black backdrop.

  Shiina's compositions resemble a tapestry of scattered vignettes, each delicately rendered with special details that guide us through this enigmatic universe. Her art unveils a wonderfully strange existence where images seem weightless, blurring the boundaries between reality, memory, and dream. This ambiguity evokes a sense of fleeting sensations—a multiplicity of meanings that beckons contemplation.

   Amidst this ethereal realm, a male presence—the "half-aerial attendant"—watches passively, adding depth to the experience. Shiina isn't merely reproducing forms; she captures invisible forces and makes them visible. The fluttering comfort of her world is sensually rendered through subdued colors and infused coffee stains, evoking a patina-like quality that echoes the Japanese aesthetic principle of sabi—imbuing beauty and solitude to old objects.

  Operating within the aesthetic of yugen, Shiina's work exudes a sense of darkness and mystery, intensified by a fatal romanticism that explores the profound emotional dimensions of female existence. In contrast to Western depictions of women as more "naked" and readily comprehensible, Japanese women are often seen as elusive and closed-off. Through her art, Hiroko Shiina embarks on a personal exploration of the hidden psychology within the female psyche, shedding light on the enigmatic nature of womanhood.

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