Merry-go-round

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September 01 – October 21, 2006

Artist: Misaki Kawabe

To portray wonderful elderly women has been my on going theme for creation. At first glance, my new works “Teo” and “Jean-Maurice” may not seem to be portraying an elderly woman, but it is, because all things are protean: they are drawn with the stamps of old woman?’s shape.
The elderly women may be living in your mind to protect you like angels.

Since I was a child, I have been attracted by the beauty of older women. They have dignity and great wisdom. Since they have overcome a lot of difficulties in life, they have a great understanding of the purpose of being. I feel that they are living in a world_located between the actual world of material desires and another wider and higher world, a natural one. To me, they look like vestals, Venuses, angels, or little girls. That¡Çs the reason I cannot stop being amazed by them.

I think that many older women are transcendent through their motherhood, taking care of their families, life experiences and social difficulties. I believe that maternal love is one of the most significant unchangeable loves. I consider older women as the incarnation of this.

Older women are transcendent not only through their devotion but also through social difficulties. In general, youth is one of the most significant elements to define the beauty of women. The reason for this comes from social structure. For instance, older men are still connecting with the society and are respected by their community because of their status, career, knowledge and so on. Therefore, youth is not a significant element to define the beauty of men. I believe that the definition of women¡Çs beauty will change with equality on the agenda. Ironically, however, this unequal situation renders the old women transcendent; because the situation prevents them from holding worldly desires. That is to say that they are receptive of anything.

I strongly hope that the angels induct you into the secrets of their lives¡Ç philosophy and leave you cheerful and peaceful.

Techniques
Because these women remind me of little girls, I use pure, soft, feminine, generous, delicate and cheerful colors to represent them. In contrast with the color area, I paint the women¡Çs faces in monochrome to express the existence of each person as a spirit. Also, I play with texture in the black-and-white face area in opposition to the color area; I use stamps such as bottle caps, containers, my name stamps and forks instead of brushes to capture chance which gives me casual discovery and spiritual works. During this action, I can avoid holding idle thoughts and live the moment. This action is very similar to calligraphy. As pigment, I use India ink, oil and tea to combine Western and Eastern culture. I enjoy organizing a variety of techniques, densities, and materials.

Image: Teo, 2006, 30 x 30 inches, India ink, tea, oil on canvas

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