For young Japanese artist Yu Yasuda, the mingling of surreal colours and dynamic brushwork remain an important part of his dream-scape works. Born in 1982 in Kagawa, the smallest Prefecture in Japan, the artist further graduated from Musashino Art University, one of the leading art universities in Japan, with a Master degree in oil painting in 2007. Soon upon his graduation, the artist has since deeply immersed in the local art scene, participating in numerous group exhibitions in Japan and abroad. Throughout his emerging career that has already received notable mention from both museums and curators alike, Yasuda is persistent to pursue the comprehension of the oil paint medium. While his early painting works from 2005 primarily focused on the depiction of cityscapes and figurative scenes from daily life, throughout the years, one can certainly see a gradual transition in the composition of the works that points to the introduction of an increasingly abstract visual language marked by loose brushstrokes and hazy contours.

The further unification of lines, shapes, and colours ultimately crystallised in Vanish into the Air from 2011. In this fantastical scene, the figurative element that dominated Yasuda’s early practice is no longer present. Rather, on the canvas surface, oil paints in different colours across the spectrum are gushed at once towards one another, creating an energetic field that is reminiscent of Western abstract paintings. Though on first view, there seems to be an unrestrained control in the movement of the paint, yet when examined closer, the aesthetics of the painting can be separated into three parts. While the top is dominated by a slush of opaque white paint, a current of green, red, purple, and blue is seen moving horizontally in the central area, and finally a sea of yellow and dark purple rests on the lower part. Above the layer upon layer of paint are freckles of tantalising white that transcend the work and bring it to a higher ground. When compared with works from the same year, the composition and aesthetics of the work have arguably moved beyond the slightest hint of figurative framework, signaling a new stage in Yasuda’s practice. 

Contemporary Asian Art

6 October 2013 | HONG KONG