The description of the exhibit in the Dutzi Gallery this week was the following: “Shihori Nakayama’s MA illustration show includes pen and ink drawings and relief prints that serve as documentaries of her personal life and influences.”
I was initially drawn to this exhibit upon closer examination of the pieces in this gallery. As you can tell from the example above, the artwork that was displayed was extremely detailed and interesting to look at. These pieces are in fact, hand drawn, finished by using either print or ink. The sheer level of detail that went a number of the artworks were astounding: it is rare that I am left in awe from an art exhibit. I felt the work displayed today required great talent and finesse only shared by a very few amount of people in the world. Much of the imagery was difficult for me to interpret, however. I believe this to be the case because this particular body of work connects with the artist on a very personal level. This art exhibit shows pieces that depict places and people that are relevant to the artist’s life. She uses personal photographs for inspiration and then creates imagery from her imagination. Through art, the artist is trying to welcome people into her view of the world, and to examine details closely and then become “lost in the moment”. I felt that this was my exact reaction towards the art works. I quite enjoy it when art is fused with heavy imagery: it creates the same effect as reading an interesting story from a novel.
KACLICA CHHIN & AMANDA RUIZ, ILLUSTRATION & SCULPTURE
Well, this exhibit was VERY different. The gallery was behind closed doors and had a message outside stating that there was “explicit material” within. This made me very curious, so I happily walked inside without hesitation. The artists were Kaclica Chhin (Sculpture BFA) and Amanda Ruiz (Illustration BFA). This exhibit happened to be about curiosity surrounding the subject matter of sex. Basically, the artwork intends to explore the human body as well as sex and sexual behaviors. Some compelling statements that were made regarding the artwork was that sex is more that a physical action- there was a state of mind being involved. Much of the artwork depicted genitalia with seemingly invisible boundaries. This is intentional as the artists were hoping to explore body parts that are generally always hidden through their works. Although the topic of sex is not a stranger in social discussions, there is a tendency to have misunderstandings or misconceptions about sex. In a way, the artists tried to portray the notion that sexuality should be a topic that can be discussed without feeling overtly awkward or uncomfortable.
I know that there are a number of people that would dismiss this exhibit due to the explicit nature of the content. I find exhibits such as this to be a breath of fresh air instead. I don’t think there should be any boundaries whatsoever in the expression of ideas and what is perceived to be “taboo” subject matter. I especially feel that conversations about sex is often underplayed due to societal boundaries. Sex is a part of human life and reproduction, and I definitely agree with the artists when they try to portray the idea that sexuality is something to be explored and not to be something to hide from.