New Paintings from KyotoKaoru Usukubo and Daisuke Ohba

February 22, 2020 – April 11, 2020

Opening: Friday, February 21, 2020, 7–9 pm


New Paintings from Kyoto, Kaoru Usukubo and Daisuke Ohba’s first exhibition together in the Loock Galerie features new works by the Japanese artists. Drawing inspiration from the myth of Enki and Enlil, Sumerian gods responsible for the creation and attempted annihilation of all human beings, Usukubo and Ohba endeavour to understand the world (‘sekai’) around them and to articulate this through their distinct painterly practices. In doing so, they make known that they, as we all do, see and experience the world in different ways. Influenced by Japanese Anime, Usukubo photographs her subjects – children, animals, and readymade objects transformed into sculptures by the artist – and then alters the photographs using graphic editors, such as Photoshop.The resulting images are then used by Usukubo as a reference point, at once facilitating her movement between the screen and canvas and allowing her to create surreal and hyper-realistic paintings.

Distinct from Usukubo, Ohba produces abstract paintings using acrylic and iridescent pearl paint, platinum foil, and iron meteorite. The artist layers and scrapes thesemmaterials on linen and panel, creating the illusion of depth and encouraging the reflection of light to shift in relation to both the viewer’s movement and proximity to Ohba’s paintings. This is the fifth time that Usukubo exhibits her paintings in the Loock Galerie. It is the first time, however, that Ohba presents his work not only in the Loock Galerie, but also beside that of Usukubo, his life partner.

Kaoru Usukubo was born in Tochigi in 1981. She received her bachelor’s degree in Painting from the Tokyo Zokei University in 2004, MFA in Painting from the Tokyo University of the Arts in 2007, and PhD in Oil Painting from the Tokyo University of the Arts in 2010. She has exhibited her work in solo and group shows around the world, including in Germany, Japan, South Korea, and the United States. Usukubo was awarded the ZOKEI Prize from the Tokyo Zokei University in 2004 and the Teikyo University Purchase Prize from the University Art Museum, Tokyo University of the Arts, in 2007. Her paintings can be found in the collections of the GREEN (Akita) and the Sato Museum of Art (Tokyo).

Daisuke Ohba was born in Shizuoka in 1981. He received degrees in Fine Art and Painting from the Kyoto University of Art and Design in 2005 and the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music in 2007. He has exhibited his work in solo and group shows in Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates. His work can be found in the Pigozzi Collection (New York), the SHIZUOKA Prefectural Museum of Art (Shizuoka), and the Long Museum (Shanghai), among other important collections.