|l Ji-Sho-Ji-Gal Video|
Yoshiaki Yuki began his career as an artist at the age of 20 with exhibitions of his works in both Japan and overseas. The exhibition "Lake Zurich," held at the Modern Art Center in Zurich, Switzerland (September 1971), displayed for the first time Yuki's works in which he attempted to fuse representational images and abstract paintings into one single vision.
In 1993, he began exploring the unique calligraphic art form that he has named Ji-Sho-Ji-Ga. Based on ancient hieroglyphic characters (both Chinese and Japanese) which are more image and symbol than alphabet, he painted his vision of them, gathering inspiration not only from their meaning, but also from their shape and form. "I am not a calligrapher, I just paint characters as pictures," says Yuki. In 1999, he devoted three months creating 40,000 unique and original Ji-Sho-Ji-Ga art pieces which were published in the 108th commemorative issue of the prominent Japanese cultural magazine, Ginka. The publication of these works was unprecedented as an art magazine exhibit. As the number 108 carries a special significance in Japanese Buddhism, having his works in this issue was particularly well received by all who admired his art.
Although Yuki has predominantly used sumi, or charcoal ink, for his Ji-Sho-Ji-Ga paintings, he has recently developed a unique method of incorporating mediums such as traditional Japanese pigments and pure silver leaf. Examples of such recent works include the Peace-of-Mind series, 2008 (seen above), where the incorporation of these mediums: the absorptive pigments and the reflective silver; suggests darkness and light, and more importantly, the harmony created by their coexistence.
Beyond Ji-Sho-Ji-Ga, the "canvas" he uses knows no bounds and ranges from traditional Japanese paper to wood, textiles, ceramics, and iron. These materials are forged and fashioned into various works of art that include traditional art forms such as kakejiku (hanging scrolls) and byoubu (folding screens), as well as more contemporary forms such as lamps, furniture, tableware, and other items intended for home use. In 2002, Yuki started designing and making furniture in which he incorporates original antique elements from Japan, Korea, and other Asian countries.
In 1983, Yuki single-handedly created an artistic space on a few acres of 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 foundation and building the house from scratch, Yuki merged with his dream. For more than 20 years now, he has been involved in structural and spatial design, landscaping, and gardening. In 1993, Yuki founded Weekend Gallery MUU, located in Yamanashi, Japan. The focus of this gallery is based on the simple concept, "around an enjoyable table." In this gallery space, Yuki has continued over the years to introduce various lifestyle related items based on the Japanese love of the four seasons. Exhibits of art work from over 300 artists and craftsmen change monthly and include 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 creative installations and his taste in selection of works to be exhibited as he is for his own works.
In 1993, Yuki also created a similar gallery in Tokyo: Gallery Shunn, a smaller but no less ambitious version of its sister gallery, MUU. In the innovative design of this gallery, Yuki altered the exhibition space through the use of a unique three-dimensional display structure. In fact, Gallery Muu and Gallery Shunn have become highly desirable "stages" for both Japanese and overseas artists.
In 1995, Yuki opened Kiraku, a restaurant in Tokyo serving a very original, yet stylish new form of Japanese cuisine based on the four seasons. Next, it was only natural to open another successful, but this time casual Japanese restaurant, Hiroo-No-Sora (2001) where together with Executive Chef Saito, Yuki has developed a totally new type of Japanese fusion cuisine uniting traditional and contemporary Japanese culinary elements.
For Yuki, there is no separation between food and art, so the Japanese culinary world 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 Hiroo-No-Sora has greatly contributed to the change in the Japanese lifestyle concept known as "Wa-Japanese," translated as "achieving complete harmony." Yuki's in-depth knowledge of Japanese culture has taken him to many podiums, but most recently to New York's Japan Society in December 2001, where his lecture on "Japanese Food and Tableware Culture," was very well received.
Since January 2004 with the opening of gallery gen (in Japanese, gen means "beginning, the source of all things") in New York, Yuki has begun to extend his sphere of influence to the United States. His work has been collected by key American cultural figures such as Jack Lenor Larsen, founder of LongHouse Reserve.
|YOSHIAKI YUKI's EXHIBITIONS|