"new Japan cool" - May 10th - June 23rd, 2003


May 10th – June 23rd, 2003

Painter Yumiko Kayukawa brings “new Japan cool” to Southern California

The phenomenally successful “Superflat” show last summer uncovered California art scene’s passion for all things Japanese. Kantor Gallery opens a new show with the perfect anecdote: The candy-bright pop paintings of Japanese painter Yumiko Kayukawa.

Kayukawa lives and paints in Sapporo Japan and is quickly gaining world attention for her fashionable young women, animals, and traditional Japanese motifs painted in a comic book style known as “Manga”. As a teenager Yumiko fell in love with the “energy and giddiness” of American pop-culture through her exposure to rock n’ roll, film and fashion. The dreamy and enigmatically sensual tones make the subjects mysterious and elusive, but the fantasy is mixed with realistic depictions of the natural world. Insects, birds and animals are always present, bringing a sense of the messy real world crashing joyfully into the lives of the pristine beauties. Traditional Japanese flower motifs and kanji characters used in untraditional ways round out the compositions, creating a jolting modern tone to the paintings.

It was through a close friend that Kayukawa first came to the United States in 1997. She was smitten with the music scene, vintage clothing shops, the art shows, and the people. Her first show in the U.S., summer of 2001, set loose a tsunami – every painting she has shown has been snapped up. Her last five shows sold out on opening night, some even before. “I’d rather my paintings hang next to rock star pin-ups than on museum walls,” said Kayukawa with a smile. “Ultimately, I want to connect with people all over the world on that level.” Critics and art buyers seem to agree that it’s just a matter of time.

Yumiko Kayukawa’s show opens at the Kantor Gallery in Los Angeles on Saturday May 10th, with an opening reception being held for the artist from 6-9pm. Show will run through June 23.2003. For more information please contact 323-933-6976.