April 29, 2024

Shogo Okamoto’s solo exhibition “Creation of Heaven and Earth

Shogo Okamoto Solo Exhibition Direct Mail
Shogo Okamoto Solo Exhibition Direct Mail

The other day I visited Gallery Marronnier to see Kogei Art Kyoto artist Mr. Shogo Okamoto‘s solo exhibition.

Mr. Okamoto is the eldest son of Menya Shoho, the 14th generation of the Mensho family, a lineage of doll makers that dates back to the Hoei era (1704-1710) of the Edo period.

He is engaged in the creation of traditional Kyoto dolls as well as contemporary artworks that draw on the techniques and spirit of doll-making.

This solo exhibition is entitled “Creation of Heaven and Earth,” based on the theme “Can we create the shape of a human being without creating heaven and earth – doll makers?

Shogo Okamoto "Fioating cloud"
“Floating cloud”

The first exhibit, entitled “Floating Clouds” – Life-Size Clouds, is a mixed media work using cotton and other materials.

Cotton is also a material used for cushions in doll making.
Suspended by a single piece of string, it creates a natural floating feeling, creating a cozy space.

Shogo Okamoto "Stone - Petrify 0"
“Stone – Petrify 0”

On the same floor, in a glass mini-case exhibit titled “STONE Petrify 0,” a “stone” imitating a natural stone is displayed using the technique of Kyoto dolls.

Mr. Okamoto describes these works

The “stones” displayed here are made of the same basic materials as those used in doll-making, and the only difference between the two is whether we are looking at a superficial human form or a stone. The difference is only that I am looking at a superficial human form or a natural stone.
In other words, man and nature are the same.

Shogo Okamoto "Stone - Petrify 0"
“Stone – Petrify 0”

On the other floor, the “Tengeiken (Tengei Sword),” made of forged titanium and finished with many coats of gofun, a technique used for Kyoto dolls, rises out of the darkness.

The “Tengeiken” uses the technique of “wiping” with gofun, which has been cultivated in the doll-making process, to put the spirit of the doll and its power into the metal sword, asking whether the doll protects people and whether the sword also protects its owner, and whether the spirit is the same.

Shogo Okamoto"Tengeiken"
“Tengeiken”
Shogo Okamoto "Tengeiken"
“Tengeiken”
Shogo Okamoto"Tengeiken"
“Tengeiken”