(from Naga gallery)
Masako Kamiya has developed an approach to painting that is hers alone. She constructs tiny towers of gouache, an opaque watercolor, one dot of paint at a time. When a dot dries, she adds on top of it another dot. When the painting is finished, she will have done this maybe 10,000 times. Her paintings are stunningly complex, and their transitions of color are ravishing, especially on close inspection.
Kamiyaâ€™s painting style has evolved significantly through the configuration of â€śdrawingsâ€ť formed by her little towers and the daunting growth in the scale of her work, now at almost four-feet tall.
During the past several years Masako Kamiya has attracted much attention in the Boston art scene. Her taciturn accumulations of thousands and thousands of daubs of paint, the tiny stalagmites of paint that spike forward, strike many viewers as exhilarating cascades of visual information. In her newest paintings the topography of her surfaces has changed from the dense coverage of its overall surface, which sheâ€™s used for years, to lacy and airy compositions.â€¨â€¨â€śIâ€™m really interested in the highly developed textures,â€ť Kamiya says. â€śThe perceptions are very different as a result. You have to walk through the surface to perceive the color relationships, more the way you experience sculpture. For me, itâ€™s almost more like making an object. Itâ€™s an interesting question. I am painting, but Iâ€™m also making an object.â€ť
“Kamiya, with her astute color sense, continues arduously building tiny stalks of dried paint over paper. These new works, such as “Lift,” conjure the sense of riding in a low-flying plane over a field of wildflowers,” explains Cate McQuaid of The Boston Globe in her 2012 article titled “Surprises in common.”
In an issue of Art in America, Ann Wilson Lloyd wrote about Kamiya’s work: “These works have an interest beyond color theory, optics and their tender, crusty surfaces: they convey intense emotion. One suspects that Kamiya has an intimate, near obsessive relationship, akin to Yayoi Kusama’s (if not as neurotically impelled), with each tiny dot and gestural action.â€ť Ultimately, in Kamiya’s vibrant miniature worlds, viewers are forced (as she lyrically puts it in her artist’s statement) “to come close to the surface to recognize how each dot vulnerably trembles within a pool of similar gathering.”
Born and raised in Japan, Kamiya pursued her art training in the United States, at the Massachusetts College of Art and at the Montserrat College of Art, where she is an Assistant Professor.
go to Masako Kamiya