This exhibition features new work from the collaborative practice of artists Shintaro and Yoshiko Nakahara. The Japanese-born husband and wife, who were classically trained in Tokyo, each make art independently; as individuals they have different conceptual concerns, work on dramatically different scales and in different mediums. Their unique collaborations demonstrate a mutual regard through the intensity of their partnership and their respect for the practice of the other. The process becomes a kind of mutual reconstruction and can lead to surprising and previously unimagined imagery.
Shintaro’s works are concerned with colour, which he resolves in vast, calligraphic paintings. Yoshiko’s medium is ink, often monochromatic and also tortuously detailed. With visually diametric styles, the two still share an intuitive approach and an obsessive, manual process. Their collaborations are unusual, taking place transactionally on the canvas rather than through conceptual exchange. Yoshiko first provides the line-work, presenting Shintaro with an empty ‘colouring-book’ composition that invites him to project his palette onto her more figurative forms. Exploring the dynamics of their collaboration/marriage, Shintaro does not always ‘colour within the lines’; sometimes he ignores elements described by Yoshiko’s line-work by blocking several areas with a single colour.
Their unique understanding of the other allows the pair to achieve the balance and compromise required to give physical form to the mental collaboration taking place between them. Shintaro and Yoshiko have described this process as signalling the emergence of a ‘third artist:’ their respective practices combine to produce singular works which remain distinct entities in themselves. The unique reflections of two minds together elicit contrasts of striking beauty, depth and dimension.
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