Shinji Turner-Yamamoto
DE RERUM NATURA: on the nature of things

Phyllis Weston | GALLERY
2005 1/2 Madison Rd., Cincinnati

November 9, 2012 – January 31, 2013

Tuesday – Saturday 11:00am – 5:00pm and by appointment

BOOK SIGNING for Shinji Turner-Yamamoto | GLOBAL TREE PROJECT | DAMIANI | 2012 | at Joseph Beth Booksellers January 14th at 7pm

EXHIBITION EXTENDED through January 31, 2013
Paper-based work (a series of plant fiber-based 2/3 dimensional works) will be also on view from January 8, 2013

Cincinnatians have a rare opportunity to see work by internationally recognized Japanese artist Shinji Turner-Yamamoto. His 2010 Global Tree Project: HANGING GARDEN site-specific installation in Holy Cross Church, where the artist suspended two giant birch trees — one alive and green, the other desiccated and snow white — atop one another in the church’s nave, drew audiences to experience an inspiration for what public art can be. Now his paintings—and, beginning January 8, paper-based works — are on view through January 31 at Phyllis Weston Gallery.

The works on view were inspired by and created during his international travels by his emotional reactions to specific events in the landscape. For a series of drawings of rainbows made in Ireland, for example, he worked with rainwater, ash and soot from burned peat, and bits of sheep’s wool caught in the wire of pasture fences. Indigenous organic materials allow him to enter into the landscape; the works become a visual record of his experience of landscape, and an intimate connection is established between nature and humanity.

Several works on view at the gallery have been shown previously in such venues as Crawford Art Gallery, Cork, Ireland; the Ippaku-tei Teahouse, Embassy of Japan, Washington, DC; and the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati.

Many paintings are partly gilded with 24-kt gold leaf through his meticulous medieval water gilding technique. He uses his own handmade colors for all his paintings made with unusual materials such as peat ash, soot, henna, flower petals, crystals, 19th century Japanese kimono fragments, real Indian yellow, malachite mineral pigment, and oyster shell white.

Petals of the Universe, a series of plant fiber-based 2/3 dimensional works, will also be on view from January 8. These works were created in Finland, with cotton and linen seed fibers and local plant fiber from tansy flowers/leaves/stems, willow tree bast, and reeds. “In the western papermaking process,” says Turner-Yamamoto, “very short plant fibers are initially held together through the application of strong pressure. This process impressed me with its similarity to the geological force creating sedimentary rock.” Petals of the Universe was conceived while working with tansy flower fiber. As it dried, the material acquired its own unique undulating shape, as if recalling the flowering of its blossoms.”

Turner-Yamamoto studied at Kyoto City University of Arts, Japan, and, sponsored by the Italian government, at Accademia di Belle Arti, Bologna, where he lived for 11 years. His site-specific installations around world include: MONGOLIA 360° International Land Art Biennial; Kiyomizu Temple Sutra Hall, Saigyo-an Teahouse, Kyoto, Japan; Sanskriti Foundation, New Delhi, India; Roches Tower, Cork, Ireland; Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Villa Croce, Genoa, Italy; Les Subsistances, Lyon, France.

Image: Shinji Turner-Yamamoto | Petals of the Universe | 2008 | tansy flower/leaves/stem fiber | 9.5 x 9.5 x 5.5 in.

Phyllis Weston Gallery
2005 1/2 Madison Road
Cincinnati, OH 45208
[email protected]

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