Created by layering muted colors on canvas, her paintings depict everyday objects, situations, architectural spaces, and environments. While her subject matter, which ranges from glass globes and fluorescent lights to people standing on train platforms and clouds floating in the sky, is familiar to the viewer, its blurred rendering and dreamlike appearance leaves it open to multiple interpretations.
The ambiguous nature of Ogasawara’s paintings stems from her interest in calling attention to moments and things that we are not always able to recognize or fully comprehend. Aside from considering existential questions, such as „who are we“ and „how do we live,“ the artist is concerned with making visible natural, political, ecological, and social contradictions and the fragility of human existence, among other intangible subjects.
Her paintings will be exhibited throughout the Gallery, including its showroom, where a profile portrait of Virginia Woolf will be displayed. Unlike the paintings in the main gallery, this figurative work depicts a specific person – one of the greatest writers of the 20thcentury. It not only pays homage to Woolf, but it also underscores, given the writer’s tragic biography, the struggles faced by women and their continued desire for and strides towards emancipation. What is unseen, a central theme along with that of ambivalency in Ogasawara’s work, becomes perceptible here.
Miwa Ogasawarawas born in Kyoto in 1973. She received her bachelor’s degree in Fine Art from the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg in 2007 and has exhibited her work in solo and group shows in Japan, Germany, France, Austria, and the United States. She has been awarded grants from Japan’s Agency of Cultural Affairs (Program of Overseas Study), the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (Else Heiliger Fund), and the German Academic Exchange Service (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, or DAAD). Her paintings can be found in the collections of the Centre Pompidou, the Contemporary Art Collection of the Federal Republic of Germany (Sammlung zeitgenössischer Kunst der Bundesrepublik Deutschland), the Collection of Young Art in the Federal Ministry of the Environment (“Junge Kunst” im Bundesministerium für Umwelt), the Burger Collection, the 1223 Gendaikaiga, and the Arario Museum.