Mark Moore Gallery proudly presents "The New Suburbs," a solo exhibition of painted wood carvings by Japanese artist Kenichi Yokono in Gallery Two. This latest body of work is a continuation of the artist's trademark adaptation of traditional woodcutting through a distinctively contemporary voice. In merging the customary with the unorthodox, Yokono's bold and enchanting cartoon-like narratives illustrate quotidian and topical excerpts from "the horrors of everyday life."
Sourcing prevalent avenues of modern Japanese culture like anime, Manga, and yokai horror films, Kenichi Yokono’s meticulous carvings contrast fraught notions of globalization and consumerism with the overwhelming "cuteness" (or kawaii) found in popular Japanese consumer culture. Phantasmagorical and raw in nature, Yokono’s work is rife with disturbingly ominous overtones and explicit imagery, steeped in both ukiyo-e painting traditions - à la Hokusai - and the uninhibited nature of American skate culture. Referencing possibilities of sex, death, and the paranormal, his practice confronts the complex relationship between time-honored and progressive Japanese customs through a similarly polarized color palette – referencing the (oftentimes) stark contrast between past and present.
Born in 1972 (Kanazawa, Japan), Yokono was trained at the Kanazawa College of Art (Japan). He has had solo exhibitions in Tokyo, Los Angeles, Vienna and Amsterdam, among numerous international group shows at venues such as the Torrance Art Museum (CA), The Ueno Royal Museum (Tokyo), Mori Museum (Tokyo), Suzaka Manga Museum (Nagano), Hilger Contemporary (Vienna), and Joshua Liner Gallery (NY). He has participated in residencies at the McColl Center for Visual Art (NC) and the International Studio and Curatorial Program (NY), and was the recipient of the 2005 Asian Cultural Council Fellowship award, as well as the Tom Eccles Prize (NY). His work in included in the collections of the West Collection (PA), The Pigozzi Collection (NY/SWZ), and Progressive Collection (OH) among others. In addition to Mark Moore Gallery, Yokono is also represented by Micheko Galerie, a German gallery with a focus on 21st Century Art from Japan. The artist lives and works in Tokyo, Japan.