When on a beautiful day I walk among the trees of the forest, I can feel the light that, through their trunks, the trees pour on us. In the fresh and quiet air of the wood, when we stare at the trees around, in this effusion of light, we can make unexpected encounters ... Furthermore, under our feet, from the dry leaves and brushwood, the smell of new life that is reborn ... I take these little gifts from the wood and I always thank the wild sprites, who fly among the branches of the trees, and all the creatures that find refuge in this wood. And, through these gifts, I give expression to my art.
Underlying the artistic ideal of yukoh is the strong influence of Shinto, the peculiar religion of Japan based on the cult of ethnicity and nature. Since ancient times, the Japanese have believed that a soul dwells in all things of nature, such as mountains, seas and trees. This is the so-called world of the "Eight Million Gods".
The Japanese thanked nature for the gifts she bestows and have continued to this day to worship the gods of the birthplace and the souls of ancestors.Shinto is made up of two great ideas: the cult of spirits and the cult of ancestors understood as divinity.Perhaps it is difficult to understand this in Italy, a Christian country, but the Japanese Shinto is a polytheistic religion that believes in the presence of a soul in all things of nature.
The difference with the Christian cultural world, based on this monotheistic religion, is remarkable. There is a great distance between the varied world of Shinto of the "Eight Million Gods" and the monotheism of Christianity. Historically it can be said that in the people living in places so different in climate and environment, a difference was born in the way of seeing nature and the world.The difference in the natural and religious environment between Italy and Japan has given rise to different conceptions of the natural and spiritual world and also to differences in artistic expressions.
The paintings of yukoh, interested in Shinto, are painted using photos of trees and birds, colors obtained from shell dust, pencils and pastels. Dry twigs and bird feathers are also used.
The paintings are usually small in size, but these small paintings unfold fantastic stories of natural spirits flying and intertwining. The title of this exhibition is "KOTORI" (Birds).
Birds are considered to be messengers of the gods. They fly free in nature. They chirp. They are the symbol of the joy of living. However, yukoh says: "Birds are spirits visible to the eyes. Their chirping, as Steiner puts it, goes beyond the ethereal universe and connects to that of divine souls. When birds die, they transport matter that has become spirit to the spiritual world.
by Katoh Yoshio, curator and art critic
Yuko Tsukamoto was born in Osaka - Japan; she graduated in Tokyo at the Musashino University of Fine Arts in oil painting under the guidance of Master Tadamasa Murai and specializes in lithography with Master Akira Shimizu.
In Osaka you Japan you teach: plastic arts in various kindergartens; lithography at the Japanese Culture and Lithography Center at Kinki Osaka University; and in 1999 she founded the “410 litograph” school of lithography atelier.
In Milan since 2003 she has been attending Giorgio Upiglio's atelier (Stamperia d ’arte and Editore) and in 2011 she graduated from the Brera Academy of Fine Arts.
The artist is known as yukoh Tsukamoto, during her long career he participated in numerous group and solo exhibitions.