Archived exhibition
4th Floor Gallery

Yuko Shiraishi

11 September–26 October 2013

Since her early childhood, Shiraishi has always carried the thought that death and stars are somehow related. This notion gave her the inspiration for Netherworld. The installation is influenced by the architecture of Tutankhamun’s tomb as well as the cycle of a star’s existence. In ancient Egypt, dusk marked the beginning of the journey to the afterlife, when the Ka and Ba that leave a person’s body at the moment of death reunite, allowing the deceased to join the stars in the sky. Through this body of work, Shiraishi draws a close connection between the cyclical process of the life and death of stars and human cells, echoing the Ancient Egyptian’s belief that life implies death and death implies life, that man is destined to die.

The installation Netherworld shows the many layers in an Egyption tomb that surround the deceased. It is placed in a closed off section of the gallery, which is tinged in blue to resemble the night sky. Shiraishi has been working on a series of studies, collages and texts, which show her working process and understanding of Netherworld and which will be exhibited alongside the installation.

Known for her abstract paintings with remarkable but balanced use of colour Shiraishi’s new paintings have an especially gestural quality. Whereas most of Shiraishi’s earlier paintings incorporate lines and geometrical shapes, these works have a much freer quality. The painterly background colour, which often almost resembles a wash, is accentuated by seemingly randomly placed coloured dots on the surface of the paintings.