The Wild Kingdom of Yumiko Kayukawa

The Wild Kingdom of Yumiko Kayukawa

With Yumiko Kayukawa’s solo exhibit fast approaching we took a moment to thumb through her book, The Wild Kingdom of Yumiko Kayukawa. The publication includes a large collection of new and old paintings that help us understand the scope of her career. We pulled a few snippets from The Wild Kingdom of Yumiko Kayukawa to share; you can pick up a copy at The Shooting Gallery for the full dive.

Yumiko Kayukawa

Yumiko Kayukawa

Excerpt from The Wild Kingdom of Yumiko Kayukawa:

“Yumiko’s work is built upon a personal and cultural iconography; some easy to read and some inscrutable. Almost invariably, a young woman shares space with an animal. At times, the animal and human relation is obvious -it seems easy to understand a doe-like girl retreating from teh viewer in almost the same pose as a gazelle next to her. I think I’ve figured out the snakes and jungle cats, but what to make of a tiny salamander or hedgehog peering from a pocket?

Recurring themes like eating, bandages, spilled food, and bondage commingle with far-east elements. The Zen self-awareness of the girls and the traditional Japanese floral designs and lettering is at complete odds to the rock and roll and street fashions they wear. Even so, Yumiko renders these incongruous elements with compulsive precision.” -Shag, December 2004

Yumiko Kayukawa

Yumiko Kayukawa

The book also offers these thoughts from Niagara Detroit:

“Yumoko’s the teeny-bopper with the tarantula for a playmate. She’s the witch who tames the wild wolf; the corceress who walks among venomous snakes. Ever the beauty who enchanges the Beast, she’s fealress in her tapping into her source. The paintings are ripe with a bright and obvious magic. The dolled-up motif does not hide the divine message.

The girld-child of Yumiko’s illustrations is not an innocent. The epitome of wisdom, she’s a dancing shaman who conjures up the sacrosanct. She’s a heroine of animals as she understands and promotes the environment. Indeed, she’s a treasure to preserves as, today, that’s a forgotten art. ” -Niagara Detroit, January 2005

Yumiko Kayukawa

Yumiko Kayukawa

Yumiko’s new body of work is clearly related to those pictured here, but she has a few surprises up her sleeve. Come by The Shooting Gallery this Saturday, November 14th from 7-11pm to celebrate the opening reception of Yumiko’s  Wild Wild East.


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