Shimpei Yoshida, The canary I saw yesterday, 2021, Color pencil on wood, 41 cm × 31,8 cm × 4,2 cm

Shimpei Yoshida
吉田 紳平

Shimpei Yoshida was born in 1992 in Nara Prefecture, Japan. In 2014, he graduated from the Kyoto University of Art and Design's Fine Arts department. Shimpei Yoshida's portrait paintings stands in stark contrast to those of his older contemporary. Yoshida began his series of portraits in response to his grandmother's death: "She is there but not." With this short sentence, which captures the mood of his work perfectly, Yoshida describes the paradoxical feeling of simultaneous presence and absence in the face of the deceased woman who only a few moments earlier was still his grandmother. Shimpei Yoshida usually portrays people from his immediate environment like friends and family and paints them in muted colors. He compares his portraits to letters in which he tries to encorporate everyday memories as well as shared moments. Every work is - in the same manner as photography - a proof of the existence of the person portrayed. Painting for Shimpei Yoshida is a piece of memory, a work against forgetting, but also always a search for the essence of close persons. This strict form of working in oil paint is loosened up in the small-format drawings of unknown persons with crayon on paper. Nevertheless, threre are parallels to his painterly work. Here, too, the works captivate us with their ambivalence, for the portrayed appear to us both near and far at the same time, as if they were lingering in an intermediate realm of emergence and fading.



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