12/12/12 – is quite a magical date and AF got the invitation from the curator of this show, Diana Ewer, to attend a special gathering for “Miraculous” at ISE Cultural Foundation in SOHO since it originally opened in November. This is the first for Katsutoshi Yuasa to show at a New York based art institution.
One can never imagine seeing the massive woodcut prints on the walls that the very ethereal look and meditative vibe were subjects based on natural disasters. You can tell from looking at Pseudo Mythology #3 that it is a capsized ship but you ignore the disastrous connotation while you take in sections and pieces of the massive work that it is immersive rather than jarring to the eye. The pigments softly toned and either pools or bleeds that it gives that feather-like treatment where the scene is a poignant memory. Yuasa in his research for this series was never satisfied with a photograph and employed the artisan craft of woodcut printing. Carving out blocks to create then he transferred images on Washi paper (traditional Japanese paper made from fibers of bamboo, mitusmata shrub, hemp, rice or wheat), which gives credence to production of new conceptual work by utilizing old world techniques or materials. The juxtaposition of process with material is a benchmark for Yuasa to produce such compelling work. What one takes away may be wisp of something but not everything.
Slow Screaming #1, #2 & #3 by its title alone evokes an anguished figure iconic of Edvard Munch’s but instead it is the verdant forest scene yet its mysterious green shade can be sinister. The complex impressions Yuasa handcrafted leaves much for one to take at their own volition. You think you might see something but nothing at the same time. In the very deep investigation of the large-scale images of his woodcut print that one can be lost but it can be a most serene contemplative experience.
For this special event, The Streaming Museum projected video and images created by artists where a camera eye explores the nuances of the digital made world that range from intimate to static dynamism.
Overall, the work of Yuasa is indeed miraculous in the overall scheme. He created a magical realm, ethereal moments, encounters that are undefined and most of all the miracle of just appreciating art in your own terms.
Katsutoshi Yuasa: Miraculous / On View: November 9, 2012 – January 4, 2013
ISE Cultural Foundation. 555 Broadway. New York, NY 10012
Call for hours: 212-925-1649
art review by: Oscar A. Laluyan
art images c/o the curator Diana Ewer courtesy of the artist
photography by: Deukyun Hwang