ART021 Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair
7 - 10 November 2019
Yohei Yama is drawn to elemental energies and his hypnotic works lay claim to the transcendent power of art to heal, or to atone. From the paralyzing aftermath of the 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima sprang the essential motifs that characterize his work -- little trees, rays of light and swirling winds bridge and rebuild the bond between the artist and nature. The art breathes and sighs – concentric circles of tiny trees swell and sway, mirroring nature’s irregular perfection, simultaneously recalling Op Art, 60s psychedelia and primitive patchwork patterns. There is also tumultuous, untamable wind; monochrome lines curl around and fold in on themselves and the result is curious – comfort in the sublimation to chaos.
Richard Streitmatter-Tran looks to the mediated social world of profile images and considers their relation to the long tradition of portraiture painting. Using social media networks, he takes as profile images as initial references, now stripped of their meta information and contextual tagging in order to paint portraits that transform the subjects - and in many cases, returns an image of the final paintings to the original posters. Painting on an absorbent ground in watercolor and gouache on metal plates and woks, these ubiquitous items found throughout Vietnam often resembling reflecting mirrors. The artist searches for a connection between the immateriality of screen based lives with the material objects of everyday life. The title, Prophilia, is an invented word bringing together the words profile and -philia, the love of something.
Continuing a series of watercolor and gouache portraits painted on absorbent watercolor ground on various metal trays, dishes and woks that began with the 2018 solo exhibition, Prophilia, at SPRMRT's STPI location in Singapore, and then in the extended 2019 series with Vin Gallery at Volta Basel 2019, Art Philippines, Sydney Contemporary, and ART021 Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair.