The gallery is pleased to present the first solo exhibition in Europe of Yakine Yanagi, Japanese artist based in US.

Through a steadfast devotion to painting and its history, the artist is interested in its alchemical properties of optics, color, and tactility to capture the complexities of human desire–– a constant toggling between an existential bodily awareness and its liberation through a spiritual connection with the natural world.

This is informed by her secular interests and studies in Eco-feminism, Natural Sciences, and Daoism, and prompted by her visual perception – after a childhood injury to the eye that had left small holes in her vision. Looking through a filter in which a constant presence exists along an ineligible absence evolved into a deep fascination with the intricacies of life-forms itself, and capturing and translating what is poignantly felt and remembered, but is invisible to the eye. In an intuitively driven process indebted to Abstraction and Surrealism, each surface is carefully layered using a personal lexicon of marks and colors until the image arrives at its resolution. Evolving together, the works witness the unfolding of an odyssey in which a biomorphic-self parses through shifting psychological landscapes, in search of questions that lead to further questions.

The Ultraviolet Principle brings together 7 curated paintings that invite the viewer into an abstract psychological space. The biomorphic self is found within flower-like compositions, exposed as if seen through an anatomical cross section, with systems of the self that is unraveling earnestly before the viewer. Talking about this series created for her first ever solo show, the artist says:

‘Like paradoxical confessions that feel uncomfortable yet relieving when confronted, while making this work, I pictured myself as an insect attracted to a potentially dangerous ultraviolet-light emitting from the centers of these works, as I confronted and created the space to meditate on my experiences.

The magenta-purple color that runs as a throughline in this body of work represents an intimate psychological space as well as the bodily. I used to hate magenta and purple because it would easily overpower colors next to it: in coolness or warmth, or brilliance, etc. But as I sat with the color this past couple of months, I realized it is extremely rewarding in precisely its difficulty to work with, especially in relation to expressing difficult and nonlinear subjects. Purple is also my love’s favorite color, which reminds me of a safe and honest emotional space, and I carry that into my paintings.

In full circle, my paintings represent the totality of my ever changing self as I grow.’