I’ve had more things to do than I’ve had time to blog about them recently, so I apologise in advance for the next couple of blog posts which will tell you about exhibitions which have now closed. Where possible, I try to blog about things as they are happening so that, if you’re in London too, you can also check them out.
Makiko Kudo was born in 1978 in Aomori Prefecture, Japan. She lives and works in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. Recent solo exhibitions include Mark Foxx Gallery, Los Angeles (2011); Tomio Koyama Gallery, Tokyo (2007) and Anderson’s Contemporary, Copenhagen (2010). In 2009 Kudo was included in the acclaimed exhibition; ‘Winter Garden: The Exploration of the Micropop Imagination in Contemporary Japanese Art’, curated by Midori Matsui at Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo which then toured to Japanisches Kulturinstitut, Cologne, Germany in 2009; The Japan Foundation, Toronto Canada in 2010 and Galeri’a Arnold Belkin, Museo Universitario del Chopo, Mexico City, Mexico in 2011. Makiko’s work is included in international collections worldwide; Modern Art Museum, Fort Worth; Olbricht Collection; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and the Takahashi Collection, Tokyo.
I like Kudo’s paintings, and found them full of imagination and innocence, in a child-like way. Looking at the faces Kudo paints, you can’t help but notice an echo of manga and Japanese culture.
According to the information I read about Kudo’s work at the Wilkinson Gallery, her “introversive escapism is an active means of resistance against a depressed national economy and the unyielding social structures that defined Japan in the late 20th Century.” Apparently, “Kudo’s decision to revert into the bodies of these recurring impish figures can be equated with her generation’s resistance against the constraints of adulthood and perceived loneliness of such autonomy and social conformity. This was an artistic, as well as cultural, revolt against what was seen to be the uninspired perspective of the former generation.”
I’m no expert on art, so I can only quote what I’ve read and say what I like. I like these paintings because they remind me of dreams and childhood fantasies, and they take me somewhere. If I had been familiar with Japanese culture when I was a child, I imagine my dream worlds would have looked something like the scenes depicted in these paintings.