East, West, and Beyond


Keiko Genka

May 6-June 24, 2022


To this day, I continue to carry my childhood fantasy. Coming from an eastern culture, my ideal world existed in colorfully illustrated books of foreign cities. I remember the cheerful colors and neatly designed architectural landscapes. My admiration for foreign places was so strong, that I now live outside my country of Japan. From a child's eyes, the Japanese culture seemed so dull and colorless. Although I now realize the beauty of simplicity and subtlety in my own culture, I still try to capture the excitement I experienced in those western books from my teenage years. When I travel, unfamiliar places remind me that there is something special in every location. Each street corner has its own story and it reveals the beauty of life and death. Besides my visual attraction to space, signage also provides curious insights when I plan my paintings. Even commercial and road signs can reveal intriguing aspects about a place. Recently I noticed myself painting more and more complex compositions. Somehow visual clutter is very appealing to my conscience. I see energy flow in it. Even though I despise chaotic living myself, I believe my paintings reflect our overloaded contemporary life style.

It is ironic that now I am inspired by the beauty of Japan as well.