Saturday, 26 July 2014

Ohkojima's tapestry of delights

'Mother', photo © by Kenji Mimura
I went into a speechless rapture when I cast my eyes
on the jaw-dropping artworks by young Japanese artist,
painter and muralist Maki Ohkojima; not only with her
fine paintings but chiefly with her murals. Born in
Higashikurume city, western Tokyo Metropolis, Maki is
a School of Fine Arts graduate who's been constantly
inspired by Mother Nature developing through the years
a sumptuous narrative style through her own 'off the wall'
technique, a style she calls ”the mural beyond the frame.”

The Big Monkey that ate the sun' on its wall
 'The Big Monkey that ate the sun' framed painting
details from 'The Big Monkey that ate the sun'
Making 'Monkeys shout and sing', photo © by Serge Koutchinsky
colorful details from 'Monkeys shout and sing',
      photos © by Serge Koutchinsky
Ohkojima is widely known for her paintings that sprawl
out of their canvases and frames to decorate the walls
around them in intricate hand painted tapestries of lush
foliage, birds and animals: an abundance of wildlife,
exquisitely detailed and sheer as an openwork. 
When drawing her pictures, Maki always thinks that she's 
merely drawing ”one part of a larger world and narrative” 
as she declares, and that's why she goes beyond the canvas,
making ”the land and the picture further connected, 
and one piece of scenery, which I could not see 
before, starts to emerge.”

The Time Flying' Unknown Black Road with details,
      photo © by Kenta Yoshizawa
'Starsong' detail
Making 'In the Forest', photo © by Kenji Mimura
'In the Forest' series on display, photo © by Kenji Mimura
detail from 'In the Forest', photo © by Kenji Mimura
Mother figures, tangled trees growing out of skulls housing
wide-eyed and screaming monkeys and fairy-tale creatures
that make me think both to Dante's Divine Comedy and
the highly detailed works of Hieronymous Bosch, look true
to life within the luxuriant setting yet her vibrant hues
become darker in 'more Mexican' works like 'The Time
Flying' Unknown Black Road (when it comes to murals
Mexico's tradition can't never be ignored)
with inky tones,
spider webs, bones and applied solid birds. Ohkojima
has traveled the world painting murals for the Wall Art
Festival in Ganjad village (Dahanu Tehsil), Maharashtra,
India where Japanese and Indian artists gathered in
February 2013 to show the power of art and to make
learning more fun. She came back a year later and
found her murals alive and well: a proof that
 her art is far from being transient!

A Tree Narrates the World', WAF, Ganjad
        photos © by Toshinobu Takashima
'Let's Talk About the Story of Big Sky', WAF, Ganjad
      photos © by Toshinobu Takashima
'Let's Talk About the Story of Big Sky', WAF, Ganjad
   photo © by Toshinobu Takashima
'Big Sky' one year later, photos © by Toshinobu Takashima

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