tomoko hashimoto



VOCA2009: The Vision of Contemporary Art, Exhibition Catalogue

Published by Committee for the Exhibition "VOCA", The Ueno Royal Museum, Japan, 2009


Toshiko Urabe, Curator, The Museum of Modern Art, Shiga

[translated by Stanley N. Anderson]

Crystallized beauty appears on a white wall as if it had descended from heaven. As I ponder the mysterious apples, mandarin oranges, strawberries, camellias, morning glories, and leaves painted by Hashimoto Tomoko, I cannot help asking myself where these things come from. Although we may know that the artist devotes an incredibly large amount of time and hard work to these paintings, they do not reveal any traces of this effort. They avoid making a loud announcement of their own existence or the presence of the artist. They blend in with the surrounding space as if it were their natural habitat, penetrating the environment like fine particles invisible to the naked eye, transforming the entire space into something delightful.
I have mentioned the names of several types of fruit and flowers. They are depicted without shadows. The colors and forms are specific but have no sense of three-dimensionality. They exists as planar, abstract symbols but they are not simply flat and mechanical. There are areas of deep color that attract the eye. This is because of the artist's persistent use of classical oil painting techniques. She attaches cotton cloth to wooden panels with animal glue, applies layers of white ground, sanding them down, and then adds numerous layers of translucent oil paint over the white ground. This process gives great depth to the colors. The thorough application of these classical techniques produces a durable painted surface with a deep glow that is rare in contemporary art. Making use of simple, strong natural forms, Hashimoto constructs a solid and tranquil pictorial space, bringing beautiful objects into existence that blend in with the surrounding space.


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