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Hiroyuki Doi in New York and Tokyo

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Japanese self-taught artist Hiroyuki Doi’s intricate artworks are now on view simultaneously at Ricco/Maresca Gallery in New York City through June 24 and at Repi Doll Gallery in Tokyo through June 30.

Ricco/Maresca Gallery
529 West 20th Street, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10011 

Repi Doll Gallery
1-16-5 2F Jingumae, Shibuya-Ku, Tokyo 150-0001 Japan

Reproduced from Yoshiko Otsuka's press release:

 

Hiroyuki Doi at Ricco/Maresca Gallery, NY:

When you enter Ricco/Maresca Gallery, you will see a very large artwork of Hiroyuki Doi. This work, “Hope for the Earth” was created after the biggest earthquake hit Japan in 2011. As a result of this natural disaster, 20,000 people lost their lives. As an artist, Hiroyuki Doi wanted to do something and created this special piece praying for their souls. We would like a lot of people to see this special piece because we live in such an unstable world now.

 

Notwithstanding the myriad of analogies that one can make in connection with other artists who preceded him, Hiroyuki Doi’s art is unique in its own right. He is, to be sure, a self-made artist, with no representative schools in his background. His work is performed solely on traditional Japanese paper, Washi, which is a medium that has come down through the centuries. It is a paper derived from the so-called kozo tree, and it is meticulously prepared through a laborious process: steamed, peeled, washed, boiled and let dried for sometime, the results of which are that it gives it a rich texture. The art of Doi is intimately connected to nature and traditions for he subscribes strongly to the notion that the human being is at the center of the creative process. Watching him engaged in his work, one has the immediate sense that he is clamoring for simplicity. Indeed, unlike many artists who use a variety of media, Doi’s art involves only a pen and a Washi paper. But with such minuscule resources, he can create gigantic images, both figuratively and physically.

 

His “Hope for the Earth” piece, which is dedicated to the thousands of Japanese people who died during the earthquake of March 11, 2011, is a vast canvass of infinite circles, all of which represent the souls of those innocent victims who perished at the hands of one of nature’s most unpredictable moments. Doi’s circles are usually intertwined, forming a variety of circles, which can unleash powerful images. Whether it is a confined space on a smaller or larger Washi, the leitmotif is unmistakably harmonious. It is as if one is tossed in a universe whose ends knows no boundaries, but takes enormous pleasure over the notion of interconnectedness. Though the circles are everywhere, each one is uniquely joined globally, in a manner that reflects our contemporary experience.

 

In his commemorative masterpiece, “Hope for the Earth,” however, that harmonious element that characterizes Doi’s style appears to have been disconnected. A blank white space, in the shape of an arch, leaves the viewer suspended in reflection. It represents the hope of the multitude. Doi’s message highlights the resilience of the Japanese people when confronted with perilous times, such as the one that abruptly brought havoc to numerous lives on March 11, 2011. The narrative may have been interrupted, but the artist’s circular designs soon appear again, soaring softly and collectively above. This image resonates quite well with those who share in the universal perspective. Doi’s vision of courage and strength to rise from the ashes recalls also a remarkable Japanese quality one encounters when speaking to the survivors of Hiroshima. Instead of confronting hatred and retribution one hears forgiveness and redemption. So, too, Doi’s tribute to the victims embodies a collective hope and commonality in experiencing anguish. In a world whereby one is often tempted with pessimism, we ought to be inspired by Doi’s fundamental message, which is that although we may geographically, linguistically and culturally different, we are interrelated by our unique human experience and the desire to rise above.

 

HIROYUKI DOI at Repi Doll in Tokyo:

"Hiroyuki Doi: Now and the past" until June 30 (closed on June 19.)

 
Hiroyuki Doi will be at Repi Doll Gallery every afternoon (1:00–6:00 pm) drawing circles on washi paper.

 

Doi’s new circle drawings on washi paper, water colour paintings, oil colour paintings and a stone carving are shown in this exhibition.