Instead, this work does exist! It is that of her continuous research, her painting that flows without first rationalising about the form, time and meanings (my works bear no message, she says), her strenuous work, estranged almost to the point of going into a trance and not seeing her hand fall onto the canvas or paper. Tomoko’s work is an “emotional emergency” that makes her chest tighten until it finds an escape, at times almost a painful one.
Creativity is seeing things that are not originally there, it is vision. That of Tomoko’s art is characterised by points, joined patiently in geometric arrangements, retelling us dreams. Hers is a subtle work; that on the first impression seems only a precise drawing, very decorative and pleasant to look at, but to a patient, attentive eye transforming itself into a complex representation – it’s a sensation akin to that of looking at the clouds, when they suddenly begin to take the most mesmerising shapes…
Here, the emotions spring from the refined, composed elegance that sometimes also threatens to overshadow the path that has led to this formal solution, a momentary point of equilibrium which represents the work of art and that exudes a serene joy.
Her Mandalas are very similar in appearance to those of other artists, yet made different by the peculiarity of their execution. In fact, they are different to those created by the street art artists such as Beau Stanton, or Damien Hirst’s paints and butterflies.
Following a regular and ordinate grid, obeying the rules of translational symmetry, the myriads of basic modules, identical to each other, fall together to form breath-taking visions of Tomoko’s Mandalas, contextualised in airy compositions.
Curious are those who look, wide-eyed, scrupulously attentive, at the things presented to them, and curious is Tomoko, when, in the midst of her fine brushwork she “uncovers”, planting them there, small signs of life: insects, microscopic animals, birds, here some stray sprouting seeds and there a semi-obscured human face; and all of these under the expanse of colours that make them reminiscent of carpets, with deliberate rips, like breaks in the sky, that widen the vision.
For an artist, an exhibition is a break to present their work, a brief contact with those who will be excited by it. To quote Yourcenar:
“The relationships with others do not have time-span; when satisfaction is obtained, the service rendered, the work finished, they cease. What I was able to say has been said, what I could learn was learned. Now let us try our luck at other jobs”
And good luck to you, Tomoko!
Raphael Paiella, critic and curator