Eiko Kainuma “LEMON”

Onishi Gallery

poster for Eiko Kainuma “LEMON”
[Image: Eiko Kainuma "Lemon" (2015) ink on paper, 39 x 27 1/2 in.]

This event has ended.

Onishi Gallery presents LEMON, the first American solo show of Eiko Kainuma, a stunning artist born, raised, and working in Nagano, Japan. Kainuma’s artistic style is rooted in life drawing sessions that have shaped her career from its start. Using sumi ink, a traditional media form in Japanese art; she explores contemporary contexts with her artwork, aiming to depict a “colorful world” in black and white. With minimal brushstrokes and rapid drawing sessions, Kainuma’s subjects are full of life, vividly expressing raw emotion through simple, strong lines.

The title of this exhibition, LEMON, is drawn from the name of a main character in one of Kainuma’s own stories. Kainuma describes Lemon as a girl who is plain-looking with an unyielding spirit that makes her believe that she is unusually cute. Lemon dreams of becoming a ballet dancer and is always looking at herself in the mirror with a critical eye. To each individual person in her life, Lemon appears to occupy a different role. To her father, Lemon is a quiet, pampered little girl. To her mother, she is a good, sensible girl who obeys all rules. To her older brother, she appears strong-willed, and to her younger brother, she is reliable and gentle. Lemon shifts characters depending on her social context, as Kainuma captures her subtle emotional shifts with the traditional sumi artistic style in a Western contemporary frame. In each of her images, Kainuma investigates the fureai, the meaningful interactions that she, and Lemon, cultivates with the people around them.

In this unique exhibition, Kainuma expresses a colorful world full of stories in a traditional black and white medium. Though sumi ink has been at the center of Japanese artistic tradition for centuries, it has not been introduced into the international contemporary art world in any manner close to what Kainuma has achieved through her innovative illustration.



from January 08, 2019 to January 15, 2019

Opening Reception on 2019-01-10 from 18:00 to 20:00


Eiko Kainuma

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