The quietude that seems almost deafening after a violent storm. Water, despite having washed so much away, seems to rest carelessly, harmlessly. These are some of the images that come across in the work of artist Yoshihito Kawase, who paints stunningly quiet water ripple paintings that reflect on the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Several months after the earthquake and tsunami, the Japanese artist, born in Tokyo and based in Ibaraki, traveled to disaster-stricken Tohoku as an artist, rather than a tourist. Although he brought along a camera and notepad, “I refrained from opening my sketchbook and taking pictures,” recalls the artist.
Seeing the survivors restoring their communities and wiping away their grief had a profound effect on Kawase. “Rather than illustrating the direct impact from visiting the destruction for myself, I decided to create a work to portray my experience of the disaster, memory of the lost lives, and the optimistic outlook to rebuild.”
Yoshihito Kawase was first runner up in the 2016 Ronin | Globus Artist-in-Residence program, for which Spoon & Tamago was a judge.