ART FOR THOUGHT is pleased to present a two-person exhibition by Okinawa-based painter and illustrator Yousuke Sasaoka, and Ryukyushi paper artisan Natsuko Saka (TSUTO) from September 21 (Thu) to October 14 (Sat), 2023.
This exhibition will feature the work of the two artists, each with different expressions and techniques, using Ryukyushi paper, which was created more than 300 years ago during the time of the Ryukyu Kingdom and is made from Okinawan plants such as banyan, pineapple, and ito-basho (wild Okinawan bananas).
We hope that this exhibition will be an experience that evokes our thoughts and worship of nature's blessings through the traditional culture of Okinawa, which has been handed down since ancient times. We hope you will enjoy the exhibition.
ARTIST'S INTRODUCTION / STATEMENT
Ryukyushi paper is a traditional paper craft characterized by its warm texture and fine fibers, and is made by delicate handwork and is unique to Okinawa.
Yousuke Sasaoka, a painter and illustrator who moved to Okinawa in 2012, has an allegorical style that moves between fantasy, imagination, and the real world, and when the CONTE MAGAZINE, source of Okinawan culture, featured the Ymbaru Forest, he was assigned to draw its cover and illustrations.
The theme of his work for this exhibition is "Yambaru Forest”. In this forest, connected to the ocean, the sun, rain, plants, animals, microorganisms, and all other living things coexist with their cycles of life, and a rich nature and ecosystem is still maintained with the people who live there.
Through repeated dialogue with the Ryukushi paper while painting, Sasaoka tries to express the relationship between nature and human beings.
Since moving to Okinawa in 2018, Natsuko Saka, under the trade name TSUTO, has been carrying on the tradition of Ryukyushi paper not only by making Ryukyushi paper, but also through products, wallpapers, shoji screens, lighting, furniture, and spatial construction using them, as well as expanding the potential of Ryukyushi paper with new designs and techniques.
This exhibition will focus on products such as fans and folding fans that allow visitors to actually hold and touch Ryukyushi paper in their hands and feel its history and story firsthand.