Blum & Poe is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings by Japanese-Brazilian artist Asuka Anastacia Ogawa. This is the artist’s second solo presentation with the gallery, following her debut at Blum & Poe Tokyo in 2020.
Asuka Anastacia Ogawa’s large figurative paintings feature children engaged in reverie and play, in scenes that are both autobiographical and dream-spun. With large almond-shaped eyes, these subjects look out of the canvas with mysterious radiance and wisdom. Full of cryptic symbols from mirrors to garlic bulbs, Ogawa’s paintings are marked by references to the artist’s Japanese and Afro-Brazilian ancestral lineage.
Born in Tokyo, Ogawa moved to Petrópolis, Brazil when she was three, attended high school in Sweden, and then studied at Central Saint Martins in London. Her peripatetic upbringing and identity are asserted in her paintings through imagery that is outside of time and place. Employing a minimal palette, she uses saturated yellows, pinks, and blues, to convey an elemental visual poetry. Her paintings are open to interpretation, as she notes, inviting viewers to create their own complementary stories.
Ogawa’s works spark a journey through hereditary dreams that exist in the collective consciousness. In one picture, a child is portrayed kneeling on the ground with their hands concealed in a large, tangerine-hued bowl, as if caught in a domestic ritual. Two guardian-like figures dressed in white hold a pastel-pink banner over the child in a heraldic gesture of protection. Another painting features a figure brandishing a bird toy in one hand, and a basket full of reeds in another, cushioning two children from a shadowy character on horseback.
In response to the prompt, “Where is home?” Ogawa replies, “I think about the people I love when I think of the word ‘home’—having time to explore, and a place to paint, is when I feel most at home.” The works in the exhibition are both a meditation on interconnectedness and belonging, and an offering of sanctuary from and within a world in flux.
Asuka Anastacia Ogawa (b. 1988, Tokyo, Japan) received her BFA from Central Saint Martins, London, UK. After having her first solo show at Henry Taylor’s studio in Los Angeles in 2017, she had a solo show at Blum & Poe Tokyo in 2020, and was featured in the group exhibition 5,471 miles at Blum & Poe Los Angeles in 2020. Her work is in the collection of X Museum, Beijing, China. She is currently based in New York and Los Angeles.