Yasue Kodama “Deep Rhyme 2011 – watatsumi”

June 11th, Saturday – July 17th, Sunday
Open Hours: 12:00–20:00
closed on Mondays


Talk Session with Hisao Matsuura and Yasue Kodama

June 11th, Saturday 18:00–
Venue: MEM


We are pleased to announce that we will hold an exhibition of Yasue Kodama’s new works.

“The unusual can be perceived in the fresh and dynamic encounters in the usual scenery of daily life. I try to capture this in painting by layering form and the act of drawing.” I have chosen commonplace subjects in my environment like the mysteriousness of a goldfish’s movements under the surface of water and the strangeness of light and shadow in a familiar thicket. There is something in between that cannot be depicted; water or air that cannot be seen but can be sensed spreading.

There is a lucid and refreshing pink and orange coloring lurking underneath the many layers of dark green paint. Light can reach beyond the completed painting, unexpectedly there is a moment when the atmosphere of the scenery expressed can be perceived. This exhibition of new paintings of the ocean is a continuation of the Deep Rhyme theme.


Winter 2010. It was the first time I had visited Hayama city in Kanagawa Prefecture for a meeting for an exhibition.

I left the Hayama museum and I went to the coastline right outside. As I approached the ocean unfurled before my eyes as the sun set against the waves.

Recently I have been producing artwork with the theme of Deep Rhyme-the unknowable shadow and depth that reveals existence. The source of everything, life and emptiness, creation and destruction; the ocean precisely matched this theme.

I can’t capture it. I thought that this helpless feeling would torment me. As I was working on this motif through trial and error, the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami struck.

My heart aches for the victims of this unprecedented disaster. I thought that paintings of the ocean might revive their trauma. In light of this absurdity of existence, we must overcome it now with a sense of awe. I believe perhaps a fundamental change in this “perception” is needed.

All form and all colors are contained in the ocean and it is impossible to depict its entirety. But if there is some artistic essence that can be captured out of the conflict for control of consciousness and the phenomenon (nature) it transcends the mere oil paints on the canvas. As I paint these works, I hope they will be an opportunity for the viewer to go deep in the consciousness of existence.

From the bottom of my heart, I pray for those lost in the disaster and I hope that the victims can find peace as soon as time will allow.

Yasue Kodama