Maki Fine Arts is pleased to present What Comes After the Beyond, Shoko Masunaga’s first solo show at the gallery, starting Saturday, March 18, through Sunday, April 23, 2023.
A Painting as an Occurrence
Ryo Sawayama, art critic
In Shoko Masunaga’s creative process, paintings are formed, not drawn. Her paintings do not involve preconditioned support mediums that are limitlessly provided to the artists. The common circumstance of images being drawn onto a support medium canvas, therefore, is avoided to the greatest degree.
Instead, support mediums used as the foundation of Masunaga’s paintings are more like maneuverable materials that are fluid and flexible. Consequently, the images are generated alongside the support medium’s physical plasticity and thickness. The paintings evolve and expand. They are layered, folded, curved, twisted, peeled, diverted, ripped off, and pasted on. Her paintings are formed by way of accepting the various shape-changing actions described by these dynamic words. It is a logical and structural consequence that the formation of the support mediums and the genesis of the images occur simultaneously.
The paintings are uninterrupted recordings of the artist’s behavior and actions. And released from the narrow confines of the wooden frames, the canvases can now display their shape-changing abilities in full-scale. While the cloth materials cannot support themselves on their own, if bent severalfold or transformed and redirected overtime, we realize that motion has been added to the materials. In that respect, the paintings become the artist’s various behaviors; the material’s tangible flexibility or transformability; and the mechanical location or occurrence in which forces like gravity intersect while in an inseparable state. A painting functioning as topos—a place to record continuous occurrences—is now established.
It is at this point that Masunaga’s paintings change from something noun like to verb like, because her handcrafted creations are designed to be dynamic paintings that originate and evolve in front of the viewer’s eyes. They flutter as though taking in the surrounding air and wind, pulsing ever so slightly with its own breath’s cadence, and existing discreetly.
Born 1980 in Osaka, Japan, Shoko Masunaga graduated from Seian Zokei Junion College in 2001 with a degree in painting. She was in New York from 2018 to 2019 through the NARS Foundation International Residency Program. Her creative process originates from paintings and utilizes a variety of techniques. By focusing on the connections to the surrounding environment and space, her works become fluid and interchangeable. Recent major shows include editing (solo, nidi gallery, 2022), replace (solo, LOKO Gallery, 2021), Ordinary objects (group, Maki Fine Arts, 2020), Box, Box, Box (solo, Cooler Gallery, 2019), CRITERIUM 93 Shoko Masunaga (Contemporary Art Gallery, Art Tower Mito, 2018), and VOCA—The Vision of Contemporary Art 2017 (The Ueno Royal Museum, 2017).
October 7 – 21, 2023
Maki Fine Arts is pleased to present Ordinary objects, a group show by Alex Dodge, Shoko Masunaga, Ryosuke Ogino, and Fuminao Suenaga, from November 27 through December 20, 2020. The four artists have chosen everyday ordinary objects as subject matter to showcase their unique approach to examining paintings.
Born 1977 in Denver, Colorado, Alex Dodge currently works from Brooklyn, New York, and Tokyo, Japan. His recent shows include Alex Dodge (solo, Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery, 2020); The Trauma of Information (solo, Maki Fine Arts, 2019); Programmed: Rules, Codes, and Choreographies in Art, 1965-2018 (Whitney Museum of American Art, 2018-2019); and Whisper in My Ear and Tell Me Softly (solo, Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery, 2018). His works have been added to collections at The Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Born 1980 in Osaka, Japan, Shoko Masunaga graduated from Seian Zokei Junior College in 2000 with a major in painting. Her creative process originates from paintings and utilizes a variety of techniques. By focusing on connections to the surrounding environment and space, her works become fluid and interchangeable. Recent activities include the 2018-2019 NARS Foundation International Residency Program in Brooklyn, New York; Box, Box, Box (solo, Cooler Gallery, New York, 2019); CRITERIUM 93 Shoko Masunaga (solo, Gallery 9, Contemporary Art Gallery, Art Tower Mito, 2018); VOCA–The Vision of Contemporary Art 2017 (The Ueno Royal Museum); RURAN TADD PADAN-PADAN (solo, Gallery yolcha, Osaka, 2016); Platform (solo, LOOP HOLE, Tokyo, 2016); When I came home in the evening (milkyeast, Tokyo, 2016); This arrived in the post (IONIO&ETNA, Tokyo, 2015); Abstract Butter at HAGISO (solo, HAGISO, Tokyo, 2015); Where the three tables stand (Art Center Ongoing, 2015); and Medium Conditions (HAGISO, Tokyo, 2014).
Born 1970 in Saitama, Japan, Ryosuke Ogino graduated from the School of Political Science and Economy at Meiji University in 1993 and completed the B-semi Learning System program in 1998. Ogino creates paintings using color layers while examining the relationship between color and form. Recent exhibitions include Absorption / Radiation (the 19th hokuto-building, Saitama, 2019); MOT Collection: Pleased to meet you. New Acquisitions in recent years (Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, 2019); Current Location of Paintings (Sapporo Odori 500-m Underground Walkway Gallery, Hokkaido, 2018); (-ness) (solo, Maki Fine Arts, 2018); Hello (solo, See Saw Gallery + Cafe, 2016); kotenten (solo, Switch Point, 2015); Present-Day Paintings: Two-Dimensional Works of Four Artists (Kawagoe City Art Museum, 2015); cannot see clearly (solo, gallery COEXIST-TOKYO, 2014); and New Vision Saitama 4 (The Museum of Modern Art, Saitama, 2011).
Born 1974 in Yamagata, Japan, Fuminao Suenaga graduated from Tokyo Zokei University in 1999 with a major in painting. His paintings and three-dimensional works are based on visual subject matters inspired by elements relating to exhibition spaces as well as observations made during day-to-day activities. Recent shows include Picture Frame (solo, Maki Fine Arts, 2020); Publicness of the Art Center (Art Tower Mito, Contemporary Art Gallery, 2019-2020); Weavers of Worlds–A Century of Flux in Japanese Modern/Contemporary Art– (Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, 2019); MOT Collection: Pleased to meet you. New Acquisitions in recent years (Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, 2019); Search Results (solo, Maki Fine Arts, Tokyo, 2018); railroad siding 2017 (former Tokorozawa city supply center for school meals, Saitama, 2017); APMoA Project ARCH vol. 11 Museum Piece (Aichi Prefecture Museum of Art, 2014); and Born in 1974 (part 1 of a 40th anniversary show, Museum of Modern Art, Gunma, 2014).