Ryohei Tanaka, Snow is Coming No. 2.
Recommended by Suzannah (Marketing and Communications Manager):
"A peaceful and somber look up into heavy clouds as snow begins to fall in rural Japan, Snow is Coming No. 2 is a window to a moment of soft but powerful emotion. Tanaka’s etching technique masterfully captures the quiet longing of dark days and first snow. He understood the relationship with nature represented in traditional Japanese architecture. Looking up at the thatched roof, it resembles a sloping mountainside while still remaining a warm and welcoming home.
Mariko ANDO, You, Me and Rose on the Sea
Recommended by Catherine (Collections Assistant):
"Mariko Ando's illustrative prints convey a feeling of childlike whimsy, but there is also an air of seriousness from the expressions of her subjects. In this piece, two rabbits are protectively watching over a caged rose on a tumultuous sea journey. Ando's use of color and texture adds so much to the story -- the juxtaposition of the striking colors of the rose and the rabbits' outfits against the hazy sky and the deep, rolling waves highlights the importance of the rabbits' mission to safeguard their precious rose. Perhaps the rose is a metaphor for that sacred thing one protects at all costs, throughout the wild waves and unpredictable currents of life."
Michael Kareken, Backyard at Night
Recommended by Paige (Collections Manager):
"'Backyard at Night' beautifully captures a familiar scene, just off-kilter. It is a quintessential backyard: gutters, chain link fences and patio furniture. But everything is slightly misaligned and in high contrast against the dark of night. It's a striking piece that shows Kareken's wonderful, painterly handling of trees and textures in a new setting. It feels like a photo that no one would think to take but is around us all of the time."
Mio ASAHI, Star Fish Road
Recommended by Nikki (Fine Print Photographer & Content Publisher):
"Starfish are symbolic of divine and endless love. These celestial beings sweep the background of Asahi’s highly technical etching. The little blue-eyed starfish serve as helpful and loving guides as the central female figure pours out the ocean from a shell as she sits on the back of a flying dragon. There is an energy to the piece, despite the artist including only tiny pops of color in the eyes and small details of each creature. Instead, linework and shape build the composition’s movement and playfulness. Each line etched into the plate is carefully scratched to give swirling loops to the water, striking contrast to the dragon scales, and delicate curves on the woman’s body. A visual boost of warm and energetic feelings. "
Utagawa Hiroshige I, Mimasaka Province. Yamabushi Valley
Recommended by Rebecca (Gallery Manager):
"Of the magnificent “Famous Views of the Sixty-Odd Provences”, ‘Mimasake Provence. Yamabusi Valley’ displays a wonderful humor and humanity. We can all relate to the man chasing his hat that has flown away in a wind storm. Amongst this expertly preserved and restored series of breathtaking Japanese landscapes, ‘Mimasake Provence. Yamabusi Valley’ reminds us to appreciate the little misadventures that make life interesting."
Li Shuang, Title Unknown (Three Figures)
Recommended by Sam (Gallery Owner & Director):
"The Contemporary Chinese artist Li Shuang (the only female member of the Xingxing group 'Stars' which served as the vanguard of modern Chinese art) was born in Beijing in 1957 into a family of intellectuals who came to feel the full weight of Mao Zedong's suspicion and persecution for writings and images conflicting with the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). After two years in prison (1981-1983) she left China for Europe. This wonderful collage from the 1980s makes no specific political reference. The patterned pieces of implied fabric reinforce the action of the three figures."