YOSHIAKI YUKI
WHAT'S NEWl SCREENl PAINTINGl TEXTILEl CERAMICl DESIGN
Biographyl Ji-Sho-Ji-Gal Ji-Zai-Gal Video

Yoshiaki Yuki began his career as an artist at the age of 20, exhibiting his works both in both his native Japan and overseas. The exhibition Zurich Lake, held at the Modern Art Center in Zurich, Switzerland (September 1971), displayed for the first time Yuki's works of modern art, representational images and abstract paintings, as well as the artist's impassioned attempt to fuse them into one single vision.

In 1993, he began exploring the unique calligraphy art that he has named Ji-Sho-Ji-Ga, based on his vision of the character (both Chinese and Japanese) as more image and symbol than alphabet. That is, instead of writing, he paints the ancient hieroglyphic characters, gathering inspiration not from their meaning alone, but also from their shape and form. In 1999, Yuki devoted three months creating 40,000 Ji-Sho-Ji-Ga art pieces, each an original, which were published in the 108th commemorative issue of the prominent Japanese cultural magazine, Ginka. This was a challenging and unprecedented type of art magazine exhibit, especially dear to the hearts of Yuki's admirers as 108 carries a special significance to the Japanese.

Although Yuki uses largely Sumi, or charcoal ink, for his Ji-Sho-Ji-Ga paintings, he has recently developed a unique method of utilizing materials such as oils, organic paint as well as lacquer, and persimmon tannin. Examples of such recent work include the Fudo-Myo-O-or God of Fire--series (2000), and the Kumo series (Clouds, 2001).

Beyond Ji-Sho-Ji-Ga, Yuki's art extends upon a great variety of canvases, including fabric, paper, wood, ceramics, glass and iron. These materials are forged and fashioned into various works of art that include pictorial art known as Kakejiku (hanging scrolls), Byoobu (folding screens), lamps, furniture, tableware, and other items intended for home use. In 2002, Yuki launched a furniture manufacturing business, distinguished for its use of original antique materials from Japan, Korea and other Asian countries.

In 1983, Yuki single-handedly created an artistic space on a few acres of virgin land in the foothills of Mt. Yatsugatake, naming the land, Muu-Tani, or "valley where dreams may expand up into the cosmos." Digging his home's own foundation and building the house from scratch, Yuki yielded into his own dream. For more than 20 years now, Yuki has partaken in the arts of structural and spatial design, landscaping and gardening.

Ten years later in Yuki founded Weekend Gallery MUU, a gallery based upon a simple theme, "around the enjoyable table." Still today, in this unique space, Yuki introduces various lifestyles based on the Japanese love of the seasons. Exhibits change on a monthly basis, with art work from over 300 artists and craftsmen, including ceramics, porcelain, lacquer ware, dolls, woodwork, rattan, bamboo, glass, iron, stone, cloth, folk utensils, fabric, clothing, paper, furniture, antiques, books and other hand-crafted items. Yuki is as renowned for his artistry in displaying the art as he is for creating or selecting it.

In 1993, Yuki created a similar gallery in Tokyo: Gallery Shunn is smaller version of, but no less ambitious than, its sister, MUU. In his innovative gallery design, Yuki alters the exhibition space, using a unique three-dimensional display structure. In fact, Gallery Muu and Gallery Shunn have become highly desirable "stages" for artists both in Japan and overseas.

In 1995, the artist opened Kiraku, a restaurant in Tokyo serving a very original, yet stylish new Japanese cuisine, entirely based on the four seasons. Next, it was only natural to open another successful, but this time casual, Japanese restaurant Hiroo-No-Sora (2001). Together with Grand Chef Saito, Yuki has developed a totally new type of Japanese cuisine by fusing the traditional to what is contemporary in Japanese culture.

For Yuki, there is no separation between food and art, so the food-service business has influenced his creative mind, just as his ideas have impacted the food-service business in Japan. We can even go so far as to say that the combined impact of Gallery Muu, Gallery Shunn and restaurants Kiraku and Hiro-No-Sora has greatly contributed to the change in Japanese lifestyle known as "Wa-Japanese," or in other words, achieving complete harmony. Yuki's in-depth knowledge of Japanese culture has taken him to many podiums, but most recently in New York, his lecture on "Japanese Food and Tableware Culture," was very well received at The Japan Society in December 2001.

With the opening of gallery gen at 158 Franklin Street in TriBeCa, New York, in January, 2004, Yuki hoped to extend his sphere of influence to the United States. Until its closing at this location in 2008, gallery gen served as a stage not only for his unique work, but also as an exhibition place for the work of a wide variety artists including ceramicists, textile designers, and performance artists. Always changing and evolving, gallery gen (in Japanese "gen" means beginning, the source of all things), presented a mix of items representative of eastern and western cultures through exhibits showcasing fine arts, handcrafted ceramics, tableware, hanging scrolls, folding screens, lighting, textiles and other objects for the home, both old and new.

As we hope to return to Manhattan in the near future, we are continuing our search for the right space. In the mean time, however, our gallery has relocated to Long Island City, where we continue to adhere to our desire to provide a wonderful mix of art objects to our clients.

YOSHIAKI YUKI's EXHIBITIONS

1968

"Istanbul"

Shinjuku Station Bldg. Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

1971

"Lake Zurich"

Modern Art Center , Zurich, Switzerland

1979

"Departure"

Gallery Borden, Tokyo, Japan

1986

"The Mediterranean"

Sekaikan Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

1992

"MUU-Tani"

Sekaikan Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

1994

"Ji-Sho-Ji-Ga"

Gallery TRAX, Yatsugatake, Yamanashi, Japan

1995

"Ji-Sho-Ji-Ga"

Gallery MUU, Yatsugatake, Yamanashi, Japan

1996

"Mix Asian Style"

OZONE Plaza , Tokyo, Japan

 

"Ji-Sho-Ji-Ga"

Art Magazine Exhibition
at Japanese cultural magazine Ginka

 

"Ji-Sho-Ji-Ga"

Ginza MATSUYA Department Store, Tokyo, Japan

 

"Ji-Sho-Ji-Ga"

TAKASHIMAYA Department Store, Osaka, Japan

 

"Ji-Sho-Ji-Ga"

Gallery Shunn, Tokyo, Japan

1997

"Ji-Sho-Ji-Ga"

Ginza MATSUYA Department Store, Tokyo, Japan

 

"Ji-Sho-Ji-Ga"

Gallery MUU, Yatsugatake, Yamanashi, Japan

 

"Ji-Sho-Ji-Ga"

Gallery Shunn, Tokyo, Japan

1998

"Ji-Sho-Ji-Ga"

Gallery MUU, Yatsugatake, Yamanashi, Japan

 

"Ji-Sho-Ji-Ga"

Gallery Shunn, Tokyo, Japan

1999

"Ji-Sho-Ji-Ga"

Gallery MUU, Yatsugatake, Yamanashi, Japan

 

"Ji-Sho-Ji-Ga"

Gallery Shunn, Tokyo, Japan

2000

"Ji-Sho-Ji-Ga"

Gallery MUU, Yatsugatake, Yamanashi, Japan

 

"Ji-Sho-Ji-Ga"

Gallery Shunn, Tokyo, Japan

 

"Ji-Sho-Ji-Ga"

Shibuya TOKYU TOYOKO Department Store, Tokyo

2001

"Ji-Sho-Ji-Ga"

Gallery MUU, Yatsugatake, Yamanashi, Japan

 

"Ji-Sho-Ji-Ga"

Gallery Shunn, Tokyo, Japan

 

"Ji-Sho-Ji-Ga"

Rufford Craft Centre, Mansfield, England

2002

"Ji-Sho-Ji-Ga"

Gallery MUU, Yatsugatake, Yamanashi, Japan

 

"Ji-Sho-Ji-Ga"

Gallery Shunn, Tokyo, Japan

2003

"Ji-Sho-Ji-Ga"

Gallery MUU, Yatsugatake, Yamanashi, Japan

 

"Ji-Sho-Ji-Ga"

Gallery Shunn, Tokyo, Japan

"Ji-Sho-Ji-Ga"
-Lamp and Folding Screen-

Gallery Mon, Kasama, Ibaraki, Japan

2004

"Ji-Sho-Ji-Ga"
"Ji-Zai-Ga"
"Ji-Zai-Ga"
Gallery Shun, Tokyo, Japan
gallery gen, TriBeCa, New York United State
Gallery Shun in Mitsukoshi Nihombashi Department Store,
Tokyo, Japan

2005

"Ji-Sho-Ji-Ga"
"Ji-Sho-Ji-Ga"
"Ji-Zai-Ga"
Gallery Shun, Tokyo, Japan
Gallery MON, Kasama , Japan
gallery gen, TriBeCa, New York United State

2006

"Ji-Sho-Ji-Ga"
"Ji-Sho-Ji-Ga"
"Ji-Sho-Ji-Ga"
"Ji-Sho-Ji-Ga"
"Yuki's world"
"Ji-Zai-Ga"

Gallery Shun, Tokyo, Japan
Gallery Chemin, Kyoto , Japan
Gallery MON, Kasama , Japan
Kuranonaka Gallery, Toyota , Japan
Gallery Mori to Hito to in Hakuba, Nagano pref., Japan
gallery gen, TriBeCa, New York, United State

2007

"Ji-Sho-Ji-Ga"
"SOFA NY"
"Ji-Zai-Ga"
Gallery Shunn, Tokyo, Japan
Represented by gallery gen
Gallery gen, TriBeCa, New York

2008

"Ji-Zai-Ga"
"Yuki's World"
"Ji-Sho-Ji-Ga"
"Ji-Sho-Ji-Ga"
"SOFA NY"
Gallery Shun, Tokyo, Japan
Gallery Toso An, Nagoya , Japan
Gallery Chemin Koyo , Japan
Gallery Shunn @ Shibuya SEIBU Tokyo, Japan
Represented by gallery gen New York, United State

 

 

Ji-Sho-Ji-Ga

Kanji were originally pictorial characters.
The very first characters conceived
by mankind were all pictorial.

These were eventually expressed figuratively
and abstractly, and as "hieroglyphs" or
"ideographs" are still preserved in modern
everyday life are in countries that continue
Yoshiaki Yuki's use of Kanji in painting is
more than to use Kanji characters.

The interpretation of ancient Chinese characters.
It is the artistic understanding of the profound
meanings of a character.

One character may describe one image,
but that image may recount many,
many different images.

Yuki paints his characters not to communicate
words, but to import a feeling.
His is a new language,
a new form of communication.
Yuki's painting speaks the beauty of the land,
the emotion of the heart

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