Yuriko Lochan’s paintings are a spiritual self-exploration through aesthetism
Historically, the lotus has been a predominant motif in Eastern art and culture. The significance of the lotus is multifarious, it has been used to symbolise power and spirituality, and continues to form an important part in Indian art.
Yuriko Lochan, of Japanese origin, but who has lived in India for 25 years, assimilating its art traditions in her rich body of work, uses the lotus motif as a recurrent theme in her current exhibition on display at the Gallery Time and Space. Her artistic sensibilities defy categorisation, even though her works reflect her immense knowledge on artistic traditions. Yuriko says that her paintings on display, much like her previous works, are creations in which “she tries to discover herself.”
The works on display were painted when she was in Japan and reflect the ethos of the Far East, including Japan, China and Korea’s artistic traditions. Yuriko’s attempt has been to “move away from pre-conceptual ideas and work with universal themes such as art and nature”.
“Within the limitations of media and materials, artists try to express spirituality in their works. The purpose of a painting is to touch a viewer in an inexplicable way,” explains Yuriko, a graduate from the Fine Art Faculty, Kyoto City University of Arts. What will take one’s breath away is the detailing, depth, rhythm, space and division in her works. The lines are delicate and flawless. The paintings are a brilliant combination of form and aestheticism, rendering a tactile element to them.
The lotuses, on closer look, appear strikingly real; one can instinctively “feel” the velvety, soft petals. In soothing colours of blues, purples, reds, greens and oranges, the images transfix a viewer to subconsciously connect with the paintings. The paintings are primarily Gouache and water colour on Japanese Shikishi paper board. “I had recently done a series of works in which I used sumi (black) ink on the initial drawing and later added colours to it. In fact, using black ink on white paper is traditional art form in Japan. I have employed the same technique for this series.”
One should view Yuriko’s works with an open mind, free from any pre-conceived notions. “Eastern art is very subjective,” says Yuriko, “Each of my works represents different frames of mind, even though the lotus is the recurrent theme. When one sees a piece of art, they actually see another aspect to an artist.”
Yuriko has to her credit a body of work in which she has experimented with motifs of Indian figures, gods and goddesses. She, however, points out that it is misleading to always introduce Japanese art in India through Shantiniketan. “It goes beyond that. I carry within me different art forms and traditions; one cannot narrow art down to one particular region,” says Yuriko who was appointed special advisor for Cultural Exchange, by the Commissioner of Agency for the Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan between 2004 and 2005.
Yuriko compares the techniques used in these paintings to Indian miniature paintings.
“In terms of thickness of the colours, division of space and perspective, my paintings are different than Indian miniature paintings. Being aware of these technicalities helps in developing perspectives,” she concludes.
The recent works of Yuriko Lochan will be on display till September 22 at the Gallery Time and Space, 55, Lavelle Road, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. For details call 22124117.