Tag Archives: Yumiko Kayukawa

Red Carpet: Yumiko Kayukawa

Red Carpet

Yes, we know that Yumiko Kayukawa‘s opening reception for Wild Wild East happened over two weeks ago; yet Thanksgiving and Aqua Art Miami have kept us busy. We haven’t forgotten about sweet Yumiko, who looked dazzling as ever in a room full of her paintings on November 14th, 2009. It was also great to see Mike Giant, C3, Akira, Aaron Nagel, Casey Gray, Fanee, Erik Otto, D Young V, and other artists here showing support.

If you missed the chance to meet Yumiko in person, read the interview she gave us here. Also be sure to view her full exhibition online and scroll down for flicks from the opening reception. You can catch the last days of Wild Wild East through this Saturday, December 5th at The Shooting Gallery for a playful dose of Yumiko’s imagination.

Yumiko poses with Wild Wild East

Akira and his girlfriend

The always stylish Fanee

Chris Blackstock and Mike Giant

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.

Exclusive Interview: Yumiko Kayukawa

In anticipation of Wild Wild East

Opening Saturday, November 14th 2009, 7-11pm at The Shooting Gallery

When Yumiko Kayukawa’s paintings arrived in a large wooden box this week, we frantically held them to the light. The level of detail and precision in this body of work is phenomenal, no matter the size of the painting. In Yumiko’s Jungle Book fantasy, Mogley is played by a long legged and pouty-lipped young woman who softens the wild spirits of tigers and sharks. She invents harmonious scenes that carry undertones of sexuality, mischief, and perhaps even escapism. But enough from us, we’ll let the artist tell you about her work. Read on to find out why Yumiko left Japan, how much time she spends painting, and why she identifies so strongly with lions, tigers and bears.

Okawari by Yumiko Kayukawa

Shooting Gallery: When and where are you most likely to spark an idea for a painting?

Yumiko Kayukawa: Ideas come from my feeling at any moment in my life.
Something I hope or enjoy, something that impressed me; feeling sad, mad or wondering.
They are also from scenes of a movie or lyrics from songs.
Also as you know I’m a big animal/nature fan, many ideas comes up when I see them in the nature or a wildlife TV show.
These recent years, since I moved from Japan to the US, I have a different feeling than I had before.
Every day is discovering, challenging and adventure. This new life definitely gives me the ideas, too.

Waves in the Mind by Yumiko Kayukawa

What material do you work with?
I use acrylic and ink on canvas or wood board.

Do you sketch out each painting before you put the brush down?

Yes I do. I sketch on a paper first, then trace it on a canvas or wood board.

Are long hours painting in the studio an obligation, or a reward?

Both. Painting is always is a lot of effort. I can’t make any piece without effort and it’s physically hard, too.
But the sense of fulfillment to finishing a piece and just looking at the painting – nothing compares.

Will you ever incorporate English words into your paintings?

Maybe. “MANGA Art” makes sense?

Are many other Japanese artists doing the same style of work as you are?

I haven’t researched it seriously, and I’m afraid to say it’s the “same style” as mine, but I see Japanese and American artists painting ‘a girl and animals’ more and more these days.

Read It to Me by Yumiko Kayukawa

Which contemporary painters do you relate to most?

I have some artists I like, but I have no good answer for “relate.”

How much time do you spend on each painting?

Big pieces take about 200 hours, and small pieces are about 40 hours.

Why did you move to Seattle? Will you stay?
Since I visited Seattle for the first time, I really like this city.
I grew up in a small town in the countryside and I can’t find my peace in a big city.
Seattle is just the perfect size for me and a good balance of city and nature.

Has living in the States affected your perception of American culture? Has it affected the subject matter or style of your paintings?

Yes, as I answered for the first question,
I have big “?” for many times in my life because of the living in 2 cultures.
I was inspired by American/Western culture a lot when I grew up, but still I can tell that what I saw before and now is different. I can see my home country more clearly from the out side, and there are big differences between these two countries.
I guess this feeling is going to be an important theme for my art in the future.

Snack by Yumiko Kayukawa

What do you like about predatory animals?

I love wolves and tigers specially. They are beautiful, and seriously KAWAII for me. But I also have sympathy for them, for being misunderstood. They are pushed to a sad place in history.

If you could be an animal for a day, which would you choose?

A bird, the fruit eating kind (hunting is too much work). I want to try to fly.

Where will you take your next vacation?

It’s gonna be Japan. I haven’t have a chance to going home this year, so I hope to go next year.

What do you do when you aren’t painting?

I love to watch movies, listen to music and read.

How do you want people to feel when they walk away from your paintings?

I hope people feel like something they can’t make into words, as I am when I see a nice art.
Also I hope people laugh at my jokes, not just smile but laugh.
It always makes me happy to see people pointing their finger to my paintings and laughing with friends 🙂

Sweet Water by Yumiko Kayukawa

Come by this Saturday, November 14th from 7-11pm to meet Yumiko Kayukawa and to see her new body of works in person.

Wild Wild East by Yumiko Kayukawa 11/14

The Shooting Gallery presents:

Wild Wild East

by Yumiko Kayukawa

Opening November 14th 2009 7-11pm

Runs through December 5th 2009

Yumiko Kayukawa

Yumiko Kayukawa

Press Release

SF Weekly: Wolves and tigers and otaku sex objects, oh my!

NY Arts: Interview with Yumiko Kayukawa

New Brow Screening in SF

New Brow poster The acclaimed documentary, New Brow: Contemporary Underground Art, returns to San Francisco this month for a special screening event. New Brow is a feature film presented by The Shooting Gallery and Humble Pictures that showcases interviews with the artists, galleries, and collectors that sparked the new American art movement.

Featured artists include Van Arno, Shawn Barber, Gary Baseman, Shepard Fairey, Mike Giant, Sylvia Ji, Eric Joyner, Yumiko Kayukawa, Kill Pixie, Travis Louie, Isabel Samaras, Robert Williams and more.

Catch The Shooting Gallery’s Terrestrial Syndrome opening at 7pm and then zoom over to ATA Gallery for the the film screening. Details below:

September 12th, 2009 at 8:30pm

ATA Gallery (Artists’ Television Access)
992 Valencia Street (at 21st)
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415)824-3890

Press Release: Yumiko Kayukawa

Wild Wild East

New Works By Yumiko Kayukawa

wild Wild East by Yumiko Kayukawa

Opening Reception: November 14th 2009, from 7-11 pm.

Showing: November 14th through December 5th, 2009 and is open to the public.

The Shooting Gallery is proud to present Wild Wild East, new works by Yumiko Kayukawa Saturday, November 14th 2009. Kayukawa’s parents and grandparents who were survivors of the tumultuous decade of 1950’s Japan inspired this collection. It represents a time of both positive and negative change, memories of the past and experiences of the present. Please join us for the opening reception of Wild Wild East from 7-11 pm.

Born in the small town of Naie in Hokkaido, Japan, Kayukawa’s paintings are drawn from the beauty of her childhood surroundings and understanding of its native animals. Kayukawa reveals an intimate connection to her culture by referencing Shinto Mythology, Japanese characters and folklore. As a recent transplant to the US, Wild Wild East also reveals mixed feelings of her experience “surviving” in two very different societies. This exhibition expresses a new perspective by melding both traditional Japanese cultures with her enthusiasm for American pop culture.

Yumiko Kayukawa’s pieces often tell a story communicating with dynamic composition, intriguing poses and fluid patterns. Scenic environments are electrified by bold imagery and color, painting with acrylic, using ink for outlines and accents on wood panels and canvas. Her traditional kanji characters enlighten the viewer with titles that give greater understanding to the piece. Emanating a certain famine appeal, Kayukawa plays on themes of nature, fantasy, fashion, eroticism and rock n’ roll.

As a teenager Kayukawa fell in love “with the energy and giddiness” of American pop-culture through her exposure to MTV, film, and fashion. By the age of 16, she made her debut into the art world with a comic-book (Manga) feature.  She continues to produce illustrative work, while showing in galleries internationally, including Japan, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Manchester, and Miami.

Please join us for the opening reception of Wild Wild East, new works by Yumiko Kayukawa Saturday, November 14th 2009, from 7-11pm. This show will be on exhibit from November 14th through December 5th, 2009 and is open to the public.