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“Nature holds beauty, for the artist who has the insight to extract it”

I was amazed and delighted by the way in which the different shapes and images began to flow out from Tomoko’s canvases the first time that I had the opportunity to admire them. I then looked at them close-up and found life hidden within the seemingly random lines and unusual squiggles. Just like dancing a tango on a dance floor with one’s partner, in that pattern of complex moves … I sensed the dancing of the shapes made by the artist who, with pen on canvas, was weaving fairy tales and dreams in many forms. Tomoko is a Japanese artist who expresses herself with ink drawings, acrylic watercolours and mixed techniques. Her technique seems to be a combination of Mandalas or rather of Zendalas.. or even a sort of xylography (engraving) reminiscent of Mokuhanga, a type of drawing that was used to decorate books, announcements, playing cards and of course pictorial prints through popular and religious images, characterised by strong contour lines, by abstract shapes and intricate drawings without depth or volume, sometimes intermingled with Ukiyo “images of the floating world” and tongue-in-cheek suggestions of an alternative transcendence to the world tied to the worldliness of the earth. These are concepts that refer to the Buddhist concept of the illusoriness of the sensory world and the transitory nature of existence. The subjects are drawn from nature and from life but also from her inner world. She is passionate when portraying flowers and animals or when capturing ephemeral movements and feelings. Nature is expressed in a set of symbols, in a forest of hieroglyphics that Tomoko interprets and translates. She is deciphering the secret language of the Universe. Her drawings and shapes are asking the viewers to use their own imaginations and this is a distinguishing feature of all true artists. However, in addition, Tomoko also leaves something unsaid, as in the white spaces in ‘Oltre il tempo’ (Beyond time)’ and ‘La porta del sole’ (The Door of the Sun). This is also shown in the details, where every inch is tightly drawn and you can gaze it for a long time without being able to take in all the tiny features of the figures that appear there. The space that is sometimes left blank, perhaps representing the small quiet corner of her inner cosmos? In her art, the geometric point becomes an invisible entity … a result of the first contact between the tool and the surface of the canvas. If in the material world the point is equates to zero, when it belongs to her language and her artistic writing, then this point become silence … It is like the silence at the end of a sentence: it is the transient or permanent cessation of it, and immediately afterwards it is the new link between one statement and another. A new link that Tomoko creates with a thin line, with a filled or hatched-in circle, with a sky full of signs, with a field adorned geometrically with flowers as in ‘Silenzio’ (Silence), with those colourful birds that are almost always the symbol of rebirth, with optical illusions of movement, like the concentric waves in ‘Quasar’, with the great and magical intertwined sun of “Talmud” that rises at the end of a highway riveted by dreams, with a mosaic of coloured stains in ‘Passegiato nel Spazio’ (Spacewalk) and ‘Creazione e Luce’ (Creation and Light) where order and geometry return with force and where delicate patterns of lines are used to create the shadows and precise, meticulous beard curls, make clear reference to the mind-bogglings. Durer states that, “Nature holds beauty, for the artist who has the insight to extract it.” And Tomoko does it and can do it through an excellent technique and an exciting composition of images, while we are there to imagine it for hours and hours on her canvas and build images through symbols, signs, lines, and infinite points like Penelope stuck at her loom and kidnapped by a time that has no time.
Maria Grazia Todaro
Carrousel du Musèe du Louvre – Parie 2014

  2016  /  Review  /  Last Updated May 18, 2017 by developer  /