Fridman Gallery presents the first New York exhibition of Japanese artist Azuki Furuya.
Furuya’s ingenious works on paper explore the fragility of memory, with the material process itself as a form of storytelling. After drawing the composition from a photograph on a wooden or metal board, Furuya builds it up with layered bits of colored paper, magazine cutouts and fragments of the photograph, then meticulously sands down the papered surface until it is exposed like a derelict billboard, and paints inside and around the contours. The resulting artworks are highly textured and luminous, a testament to precariousness and persistence of life, memory and myth.
Furuya does not stop there. With the shavings leftover from the sanding, she remakes paper pulp, shapes it into a sculptural form, and transfers the original photograph onto the reconstituted surface. The underlying images can be family photographs, Ukiyo-e prints, and historical images, such as those of the 2011 Fukushima earthquake and nuclear disaster. In Furuya’s art, the images become ingredients in the neverending process of re-formation of identity. Fragments of trauma are unearthed, ground down to ash and repurposed, giving rise to a form new and vital.
Azuki Furuya graduated with an MFA from Brooklyn College in 2019, where she studied with Derrick Adams. Previously, Furuya had received art degrees from Tama Art University in Tokyo, and University of the Arts in London. Furuya’s work has been shown at 601 Artspace in New York and at the National Art Center in Tokyo. Born in Sapporo, she lives and works in Tokyo.