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Hope Embedded in Darkness: Bear, Munch, Cheeseburger, and Others—Takuya Yamashita solo exhibition

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Post date:2023-08-29



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No.180, Fuhua Rd., Shilin Dist., Taipei City Taiwan, R.O.C
Hope Embedded in Darkness: Bear, Munch, Cheeseburger, and Others is the artist Takuya Yamashita’s first solo exhibition in Taiwan. From his works, one can see the artist’s sarcastic view of the “darkness” within the structure of consumer society as well as the “negative emotions” shouldered by the artist himself. All these ideas that appeared in infinite times in the artist’s mind have been transformed into “hope” through the printmaking artworks. Let’s appreciate together some of Takuya Yamashita’s works from recent years, to see how the artist merges the public and private issues in the same graphic works and how he rubs them into different pieces with all his strength.

Printmaking is a very simple medium for creation, which can easily reproduce works with just some materials and techniques. Takuya Yamashita has chosen printmaking as his creative medium and focused the works based on the themed mascots of various organizations, institutions, projects, enterprises, groups, political propaganda, and advocates. For instance, “Mayor McCheese” who once showed up as McDonald’s mascot and disappeared due to copyright infringement; “Fei Wan” who was once a mascot of a football club that was disbanded due to the poor management of the sponsoring company; “O-chan” and “Ku-chan” the bear mascot of Okuma Town, Fukushima Prefecture, where the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant is located;

“Uranium Boy” and “Pluto Kun”, mascots of the Atomic World Exhibition Hall inaugurated in Tokai Village, Ibaraki Prefecture in 2012. These mascots were once adored by the people yet were forced to leave the stage due to various complications. Takuya Yamashita chose to summon once again these mascots, inquiring about the contradictory dilemmas of their origin and cause of disappearance. After selecting suitable representations among the countless images that wander on the Internet, he used exaggerated colors and turned each of the mascots into an art installation.

In this exhibition, he also displayed the works derived from his personal divorce experience. By holding the negative feelings and emotions, negative imageries would haunt Takuya Yamashita’s mind from time to time, and such negative imageries would further attract other negative notions. Because of his family’s medical history of Schizophrenia, he has been living in the fear of stepping into the same world, leading him to suffer from innumerable sleepless nights. Even in the face of such a painful whirlpool, Takuya Yamashita kept insisting on printmaking creations. He believed that printmaking creation is the only way to turn negativity into creative energy. His previous printmaking that pays tribute to Edvard Munch’s printmaking Separation and the work that quotes the lyrics of Kanye West, who also went through a divorce, are the works created based on Takuya Yamashita’s personal experiences.

In modern times, anybody can quickly transmit their personal ideas and beliefs through the Internet and social media platforms. However, it is the wish of this exhibition to introduce this modern artist who drifts along the Japanese society through slow-paced printmaking, for you to capture the silver lining among the works.

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