Blum & Poe is pleased to present Ooido Syoujou’s first solo exhibition with the gallery.
Consisting of a multitude of colored fragments with minute gaps, Ooido Syoujou's (b. Osaka, Japan, 1984) abstract paintings seem to twinkle, evoking a backlit prism or a smattering of distant stars. The artist’s painting process requires an acute attention to detail and a meticulous nature, yielding works that transmit a tremendous intensity and vibrant energy—as if to depict an entity of both cosmic and microscopic proportions. As the artist meditates on the natural world through his work, Ooido conjures the principles of Charles and Ray Eames’s Power of Ten (1977)—the constitution of a single atom mirrors the expanse of the universe.
Ooido began making art after a life changing trip to the forest of Yakushima, a Japanese subtropical island in Kagoshima Prefecture, where he found a catalyst for his practice in the natural phenomena that surrounded him. Emulating the living matter he encountered—such as bioluminescent mushrooms—in his works on canvas, paper, cotton, and board, the artist’s paintings hum with movement as they sprawl out from the center of each piece. This organic arrangement of minuscule geometric shapes with a centralized focal point gives nod to trends in nature—such as the composition of cells or stellar systems—and acknowledges the hand of the artist with almost imperceptible imperfections in its construction.
The artist’s choice of color palette further alludes to that which is naturally occurring. In works where Ooido utilizes bright reds and turquoise—colors that don’t frequently appear in nature—he carefully weaves in other pigments to create the overall appearance of a neutral, muted tone that enfolds all varying shades within it. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe describes this phenomenon in his seminal Theory of Colours (1810) in the section “Intermixture, Apparent” wherein colors may appear as one hue from afar but remain distinct shades upon close investigation.
Sometimes taking a few years to complete an individual work, Ooido invests an immense amount of physical and metaphysical energy into these paintings—each one serving as an outlet for the artist’s pursuit of his own subliminal thought processes. The culmination of these forces generates work that is at once expansive and succinct, formally complex and energetically infused, vibrant and muted.