Tender Voice from Japan
Japanese printmaker has her first solo exhibition in Dhaka
and brings with her the subtlety esoteric to her people.
is art through which artists force themselves upon the world;
but if the same is done in an uncannily subtle way then it
is the Japanese who would have considered to be the champion
of that art. Tomoko Ogoshi, a Japanese artist who had a recent
show at the Zainul Gallery, Institute of Fine Arts, belongs
to this contingent. Her ethereal, relaxed and retina-pleasing
abstraction almost wants to negate the lived experience and
builds on things that do not refer to reality.
how far removed is she from what is real? To take the cue
from what the artist herself thinks of her influences, we
stumble into a collection of things. Tomoko, who is now an
assistant lecturer at the Joshibi University of Art and Design,
says her memory of having sojourned in San Francisco had an
influence in her art. The sunny city has certainly made her
paintings be splashed with light and colour. In her childhood
she travelled to Spain and China, the vast open regions of
these two countries are recalled in many of her works.
the media with which she feels her ideas are best expressed,
strive to bring a fluidity characteristic of water colour.
She starts with a sketch and then go on to apply all the successive
processes of 'lithograph' done with metal plates. It is the
medium that she manipulates to reach a subtle visual solution.
It is this subtlety that brings up the subjects of her source
which she delicately transforms.
a Cancer, lithograph.
of her works depict a cluster of spheres. But they hover in
between a still-life and depiction of celestial matter. With
splashes of colours, either on the middle of a piece, or strategically
placed on the bottom of her composition, Tomoko tries to match
the experience of looking at nature or natural phenomena.
Her colours and the harmony of compositions often bring to
mind the natural splendour that keeps changing according to
the seasons. In fact, it is the strong sense of reliving the
seasons that Tomoko's art induces in most viewers.
seasons are her springboard, then, spring and winter are the
dominant forces of all. The all-pervading calm that may seem
agreeable to most viewers, are essentially Japanese, and is
an element that is best suited to the society the artist lives
in. The austerity that governs the life of the Japanese people,
the grace they experience in living while all unsound emotions
are well contained, find their expressions in Tomoko's lithographic
prints. Her works invite touching, but it does not take long
for the viewers to realise that her images depict unreal objects.
About this dematerialisation the artist does not say much,
but she contends that what she brings into her work is the
feelings one has while a gentle breeze embraces one, something
that one can never really see but feels with the senses. This
is the kind of sense perception Tomoko believes her art thrives
show was arranged as part of the three GS Kabir sponsored
shows of Japanese artists. It was one of the two solo shows
brought in from Japan to let the Bangladashi viewers get a
glimpse of the Japanese art scene. The other show that Kabir
arranged was a group exhibition of a number of Japanese artists.
Kabir has been working like a mentor for many Bangladeshi
and Japanese artists, among them many had the chance to have
their first solo abroad for the first time through a kind
of exchange programme that Kabir himself initiated.
occasion he takes care of the logistics. Tomoko did not have
to do much towards in this show, as even the frames of the
pictures were readied beforehand. Tomoko had to bring her
prints with her when she came to have her first solo show
in Dhaka. Her print exhibition was held from August 9 to 14,
(R) thedailystar.net 2004