Baptism of Concrete Estuary: Scroll Painting, Gouache on Paper

Artist Statement

My work takes on the ephemerality of news and information. It addresses how the emotions we bring to each tragedy in the news cycle are swept away by the wave of information that floods the media. I address this social amnesia through my art with the work acting as a social memory for tragic events so quickly forgotten in our information age.

My work pays homage to Asian art history while allowing me to evolve my own personal graphic technique. The monumental painting Baptism of Concrete Estuary allowed me to reconnect with the Japanese heritage that I struggled for many years to forget. I employed images of the overwhelming power of the Japanese tsunami and earthquake to inspire empathy in the painting’s viewers. My intention in creating a 30 feet scroll painting was that the audience would be able to have an intimate look at the painting as in traditional Chinese and Japanese scroll, while also feeling overwhelmed by the massiveness of the paper in comparison to the individual viewing it. I used visual color blocks and large fields to draw in the audience for a closer view, while the finer details of the piece keep the audience fixated and allow them to feel immersed in the painting itself. This painting is intended to serve as a constant reminder that events such as this should always be remembered, especially since there are those in Japan still in dire need of assistance.

Jave YoshimotoJave Yoshimoto is an artist of multi-cultural background. He was born in Japan to Chinese parents and immigrated to California at a young age. Yoshimoto has lived in various parts of the country, which has influenced his artistic practice. He believes in creating works that are socially conscious and true to his authentic self. Yoshimoto received his Bachelor’s degree from University of California Santa Barbara in Studio Art, Post-baccalaureate Certificate in Painting and Drawing and Masters of Art in Art Therapy at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and his Master of Fine Arts in Painting at Syracuse University.