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Yūgen Series

                                                                        Yūgen Project Series.  

Gaby Oshiro 

The Poetic Sign. MMXXIV


Modernism proposed that painting/sculpture could be much more than a relatively simple reproduction of visual appearances. This echoes Aristotle’s theory about the importance in understanding the true purpose of artistic expression. “The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance”.

Along this line, Henri Matisse said “In the beginning you must subject yourself to the influence of nature. You must be able to walk firmly on the ground before you start walking on a tightrope”.


As early as 1908 western painting freed itself from the desire to represent visual appearances with Cubism, breaking the boundaries between figuration and abstraction. Finally in the late 1940’s the last chains fell off of an aesthetic composition dating at least from the Renaissance.


My interest in languages and discovering the etymology of words, made me curious to know the origin of kanji. I have found books about these Chinese signs called Oracle Bone script/Dragon script, that were part of an ancient writing system lost in time, and rediscovered 3000 years later around 1895. These primordial symbols connect us with the past, a visceral connection part of the collective memory. To me they have a lyrical quality belonging to my Japanese roots and it’s the reason why I incorporate them to my visual vocabulary.  A work of art without substance and reasoning it’s only an empty vessel, like a body without a soul.


Closer to the sensibility of the Art Informel/Arte Informale, these symbols are reinvented, deconstructed, multiplied, they follow a rhythmic composition following an invisible grid or pattern with variations of color, they create a visual song. These characters are also used as a module and they exist in relation to others, they communicate intentional and unintentional meaning or feelings allowing a universal interpretation of a private language.


Painting is a visual language, a way to express and communicate what is under the surface and to reveal the painter’s inner truths, transforming the invisible into visible.  The paintings do not answer completely to the message of the painter, art becomes the catalyst for introspection. Individuals uncover their own significances depending on their experiences and philosophies of life.  A painting as a meditative element, is a visual poem/haiku that invites the interlocutor to isolate from noise and have a one on one conversation. 

                                               Ritratti Polifisionomici/ Polyphysiognomic portraits
Portraits inspired on photo-dynamism from the Bragaglia brothers, and Eadweard Muybridge and Etienne Marey chrono-photography.

"Cass, the Cat" series

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