MATtam 71

Manto Arte Temporanea | Temporary Art Manto
short exhibitions in found spaces

Sala Attilio Regolo del Giardino Segreto | Palazzo Te | Mantova

Shoko Okumura

Serenità Silvana – Sentinelle Sacre

Sunday May 12th 2024
only between 10:30 AM and 12:30 PM

This series "Tobusatate" is painted on Hinoki wood and offers a unique look at the connection between humans and nature through the prism of Japanese traditions and Western artistic influences. In Japan, the "Tobusatate" ceremony is performed when a tree is felled to provide timber for the construction of shrines. During this practice, a branch of the tree is inserted into the center of the main stump to honor and thank the tree for its sacrifice. It has been practiced for 1400 years and is still performed on certain occasions today. Part of the works on display are inspired by this ritual practice.
The painting is applied directly onto sections of Hinoki, the sacred Japanese cypress, and the pictorial composition is studied in such a way as to center around the trunk, reflecting the importance of the center in the Tobusatate ceremony. Each painting depicts a fleeting scene of nature, reflected in the rippling waters, inviting viewers to reflect on the transience of life itself.
In addition to the works on Hinoki, there are also works on cypress that recall frescoes with mirrors. These works transport viewers to a secret place, as if they were looking from behind a forest, revealing an intimate and mysterious location. This inspiration comes from the history of the Palazzo Te, a place steeped in secrets and intimate details of the private life of Federico II Gonzaga.

Shoko Okumura was born in Japan in 1983 and currently lives and works in Tokyo and Milan. She graduated in Traditional Japanese Painting from Tokyo University of the Arts in 2008 and received a prestigious scholarship from the Japanese government. Immediately after graduation, she moved to Italy to learn fresco restoration at the International University of Art in Florence. Combining the technique learned with fresco painting, she became acquainted with the characteristics of Italian pigments; she began experimenting by mixing them with Japanese painting techniques, which often use a metal support (e.g., silver/gold leaves). This experience led her to develop a passion for the result obtained from the blending of the two techniques, Italian and Japanese. Her main goal is to represent the existing relationship between nature and humans.

"Solidity and lightness coexist preciously in the dialogue between natural material and color lines, overcoming the marking of the present, or in the reflections that evoke the bouncing of history beyond the circuit of time." Donata Negrini

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Temporary Art Manto
short exhibitions in found spaces

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MATtam. An informal series of very short moments of art or other stuff for an open and live exchange of ideas and inventions.