Awakening Yori Price — May-August 2022
About the paintings
My work follows the Shinto Animist tradition of using elements from the landscape to represent larger nature spirits. My painting represents evoked inner spiritual landscapes, where I can explore my ideologies of nature to interpret my voice and language in abstract form. It expresses emotive sensibilities in various different contexts and aspects. I use permanent polychromos pencils to give compelling effects on the compositions. And you can enjoy getting lost and found in between the thick layered colours while the white paint invokes a sacred sense of nature representing nothingness by its artificiality.
I push the sense of the canvas being a two-dimensional space with the use of paint layering emphasised by the contrasting intricate pencil etchings. As is typical in abstract art, to define the work’s actual aspects and characteristic features can be inextricable, obscure and vague. Still, I intend to investigate the deep essence within my work as precisely as possible.
About the artist
Born in Yokohama, Japan, Yori immigrated to Australia in 2000. She finished her MFA at the National Art School (NAS) in 2013, majoring in printmaking.
Her work interprets Japan’s native nature aesthetic, which colours her perspective with its placement of nature at the centre of its philosophy. Specifically, she is influenced by Shintoism and Zen Buddhism, the latter teaching the beauty of imperfection in nature which is an important part of her aesthetic. Her current projects are based on the integration of her aforementioned Japanese aesthetic and philosophy, with her experience of Western culture.
Yori’s landscapes immerse us in her experience of nature which is imbued with memory, colour, emotion, and the ineffable spiritual presence, influenced by her Japanese heritage. This last element is particularly felt in her landscape paintings, suffuse with a soft, white light; or in the flush of pink of the sky at dawn. She also creates works using printmaking techniques and hopes to extend her practice to other media.
Japanese traditional colour themes are a prominent element in her work, as is the universal semiotic breadth of colour: its cultural and religious connotations; how it conjures feelings of nostalgia; and also its ability to stimulate other senses (synaesthesia). Her investigation has also extended to the history of colour and the manner in which it came to be ordered and assigned to signify wealth and social status, as in former centuries when an augmented status was ascribed to pigments such as purple, because of its scarcity. Talismanic power has also been attributed to colours such as red which in Japan is still used today ceremonially to ward off malevolent spirits and disease.
In Yori’s works, she presents nature’s harmony through particular colour combinations inspired by the seasons, as well as being derived from Western colour compositional theories. With that said, she interprets these combinations within the context of the laws of Japanese colour symbolism.In Floating Series, for instance, the white, negative space surrounding the coloured, organic shapes is expressive of ‘the sacred’ according to Japanese tradition.
The abstract forms are also derived from her Japanese influence as she meditates before beginning her work, contemplating nature. This is a process based on Zen practices and began in her childhood at the instruction of her Zen calligraphy teacher. In Buddha’s doctrine, Zen meditation is central to the search for a definition of life and emphasises the importance nature. Similar to the effect of the Zen Koans, Yori’s works affect calm and clarity of mind upon her viewer, analogous to a meditative state.
– Zoe Harrington, freelance writer / former editor of Sculpture + Enemies