Between Journeys - Winter Footprints

Mai Yoshida and Ayane Muroya
International Gallery, Slater Street
21st - 27th February 2009

Reviewed by Paul Cassidy

Between Journeys is a joint exhibition showcasing the work of two Japanese artists, Mai Yoshida and Ayane Muroya. Their separate uses of calligraphy and animation in exploring difference and similarity are fitting mediums indeed. Pieces in the exhibition are dominated by both the imagery and colour schemes of winter months, and - as the idea of winter is central to the exhibition floor-space is often taken up by bare white branches or white balloons resembling snowed-over terrain.

The bare, minimalist, almost nonchalant nature of the gallery - whitewashed walls and concrete floors - serves to create an atmosphere akin to the exhibitions winter theme. The space is granted an industrial coldness in which one is drawn more completely to the pieces on display. The pieces themselves are often minimalist in their use of colour with white, grey and black featuring heavily. Such a palette reflects the winter theme of the exhibition adequately, yet rare uses of colour offer an optimistic glimpse into the coming summer months. Fitting in the current economic climate indeed, these pieces could be used well to conjure thoughts of financial grey days with colour symbolizing the hope of salvation.

Ayane Muroya’s calligraphy dominates wall space with a number of pieces spanning the length or breadth of some. Use of space has always been a great interest of Muroya’s with the placement of her work confirming this. Her work often has a degraded nature about it through her use of distressing, with rips and tears evident which provide a weathered, winter-beaten quality. Fragility is another feeling evoked as pieces are frequently attached to walls by simple fine needles.

Mai Yoshida’s animation is contained at the rear of the gallery, with balloons and slouchy seating creating an air of ambience in which to consume. Yoshida’s work relates directly to her life with six animations in total, bathed in the now familiar hue of black and white, serving to emphasize times of a more sombre nature.

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