Naomi Van Holbutt-Kirk: 'T_zai, T_zai'  
Tokyo is gray. Painter, Naomi Van Holbutt-Kirk, is inspired by the city's many shades –- the blue gray of temple tiles and the gray of the morning mist. This exhibition, presents Van Holbutt-Kirk's paintings prepared since arriving over two years ago from Britain. Influenced by the architectural writer/critic Jun'ichiro Tanizaki and his essay on aesthetics, In Praise of Shadows, Van Holbutt-Kirk's paintings '…push back into the shadows the things that come forward too clearly [and] …strip away the useless decoration.' Her art captures the flicker of sunlight through leaves and the memory of a shadow on the bitumen road. She paints these subtle shadows, in oils on linen, scumbling the surface to create a lyrical softness. Nothing is clear, nothing crisp. Her paintings glow like the last rays of sunlight. They evoke a sense of place but are only fragments of forgotten details, tantalizingly out of focus and just out of memory's reach. Van Holbutt-Kirk's canvases are almost monotones, yet they are neither sparse nor minimal but rich in tone and timbre. Her abstract paintings evoke a Japan of shadowy alleys and courtyards, glimpsed through a partially opened screen door. It is a dappled and gentle place.

 

through 28 April Gallery Saoh & Tomos Watanabe Building, 1-3-1 Hon-cho Nihonbashi, Chuo-ku Tel. 03.3271.6693 11:00 – 19:00 closed Sunday Artist talk: Sat 4.21, 15:30