Curated by Raphaela Platow
This exhibition features brand new work by emerging, New York-based Japanese artist Aya Uekawa. Aya Uekawa: Sanctuary Dreams was created by the artist just for Cincinnati. The artist drew upon a dream world of her own imagination, as well as a myriad of global influences, to create works that invite contemplation.
While creating her art, Uekawa employs repetitive strokes and details to achieve her own introspective escape from the everyday. And this meticulous focus is manifest throughout the exhibition—from the vignettes forming the body of the unicorn to the ornate feathers of the birds in her exoticist paintings. Uekawa reinterprets mythologies (i.e., transforming the bird-of-paradise headdresses worn by the Wola people of Papua New Guinea into a fanciful crown of knotted birds) in order to create her own vision of utopia. This is the place where the familiar and the foreign coexist and dreams intertwine with reality.