SchoolArts Magazine

October 2018

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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L O O K I N G & L E A R N I N G SCHOOLARTSMAGAZINE.COM 29 Cit scape, Traditional Landscape, and Installation O S C A R O I WA V I S U A L A R T I S T A N D PA I N T E R L O O K I N G & L E A R N I N G O scar Oiwa creates gallery-filling, panoramic land- scapes inspired by traditional Japanese ink land- scapes and urban cityscapes. Originally trained as an architect, Oiwa's work references architectural design, contemporary art, and his background as the child of Japanese immigrants living in Brazil. Oiwa's large-scale drawings, such as Oiwa Island 2 (2016) and Oscar Oiwa in Paradise—Drawing the Ephemeral (2018), bring the centuries-old tradition of Japanese monochromatic landscape painting into the twenty-first century. See the artist creating Ephemeral using the video link on page 32. Making Paradise Oscar Oiwa in Paradise—Drawing the Ephemeral (see pgs. 30–31) is a giant latex bubble that Oiwa and five assistants filled with a beautiful, spellbinding, and all-enveloping landscape/skyscape/streamscape drawing. It references traditional subjects, such as trees beside a stream, in a style that resembles the Edo Period (1615–1868) KanõōSchool. It also includes swirling hurricane imagery that references traditional Japanese painting through the use of mist, clouds, and smoke as symbols of distance or the divine. Over a two-week period, Oiwa and his assistants used 120 permanent markers to create Ephemeral exclusively for the JAPAN HOUSE in his hometown of São Paulo, Brazil. Ephemeral marks the 110th anniversary of Japanese immi - gration to Brazil. The piece utilizes an amazing variety of lines and positive and negative space to conjure visions of misty Japanese mountain landscapes within a latex bubble. Artistic Influence Oiwa's cityscape paintings, mostly from dizzying bird's- eye views, reflect a twenty-first century fact of life in col- oristic beauty. The bird's-eye view is often combined with swirling clouds of a hurricane, as if combining traditional Japanese landscapes with Pop Art and graphic novel fasci- nation with complex urban environments. Oiwa was born in São Paulo, Brazil, of Japanese immi- grant parents. He was influenced by comic books and mag- azines throughout his youth, as well as the crowded urban environment in which he grew up. In 1989, he received a BFA from the School of Architecture and Urbanism at the University of São Paulo. He held his first one-person show while he was still in college, and took part in the twenty- first São Paolo Biennial in 1991. He currently lives and works in New York. Background Tr aditional Japanese landscape painting was adapted from the Chinese monochromatic style that was perfected dur - ing the Song Dynasty (960–1279/1280 CE), and combines brushstrokes based on calligraphy strokes with areas of ink Top: Visual artist Oscar Oiwa. Bottom: World Wide Web Wave 3, 2017. Oil on canvas. 7 ½ x 11' (2 x 3 m). Centerspread (pgs. 30–31): Oscar Oiwa in Paradise – Drawing the Ephemeral, 2018. Immersive installation, black marker pen on vinyl surface. 23 x 33 x 13' (7 x 10 x 4 m). All photos courtesy of Oscar Oiwa Studio, NY. wash. An indigenous Japanese painting style called yamato- e ("Japanese style picture"), evolved during the Heian Period (794–1185 CE). Yamato-e is characterized by shallow space (usually shown from a high vantage point), bright color, decorative surfaces, and a distinctive use of gold leaf.

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