Evocative Deep Waters and Midnight Blue Night Sky Dominate Works by Japanese Artist Yuko Kimura at Local Exhibition – Pasadena Weekendr


Deep, rich blue indigos evoke the imagery of the deep sea and night sky in papermaker and printer Yuko Kimura. cosmic collages.

His work is the sole focus of the Fulcrum Festival hosted by Shumei Arts Council, a decades-old but little-known arts organization in Pasadena.

cosmic collages

In cosmic collagesKimura brings together various print media, “combining contemporary and traditional printing techniques from Japan and the West – including etching, aquatint and monotype – with indigo dyeing methods that make reference to the sea, the night sky and the universe beyond”. according to the organization’s website.

Her layered, textured collages feature the artist’s own handmade washi paper with old, worm-eaten pages from printed antique Japanese books.

Kimura’s technique is inspired by the “Japanese Boro clothes, which are patched from worn scraps of indigo cloth, and by her grandmother’s habit of saving scraps of cloth to patch into new clothes for her family.


Established in 1998, the Shumei Arts Council is committed to providing the highest quality concerts, unique exhibitions and lectures at Shumei Hall, Pasadena, so that everyone can explore and experience highly skilled artistic expression.

The non-profit organization said its mission is based on the belief that the community can flourish through art.

“We believe that people’s hearts and minds can be lifted through the arts,” said Board Member Ron Helgesen.

“When the individual’s spiritual level is high, it also helps others, when it spreads. And that’s the deepest aspect,” Helgesen said. “Maybe that’s how we might be different from other organizations – we aim to raise the spiritual level of people.”

Besides the work of famous artists, the Shumei Arts Council has also featured performances by famous musicians and singers, including Paul Winter, Carol Neblett and Gary Burton.

The organization, which is associated with the Miho Museum in Kyoto, Japan, has also presented children’s concerts.

Impact of the pandemic

Like other organizations in Pasadena, the Shumei Arts Council also had to cancel performances during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the organization’s annual concert.

But Helgesen noted that they did not struggle financially despite the canceled events.

“Financially speaking, it hasn’t affected us much because the Shumei Arts Council is voluntary. We don’t have hired staff; we didn’t have to pay a salary. So we were really lucky in that regard. We didn’t have to fire anyone or anything.

“But yeah, it’s a shame we had to be a bit quiet there during the period, but we’re getting things going here and hopefully we’ll bounce everything back here.”

Helgesen, however, acknowledged that bouncing back can be quite difficult because even with the easing of pandemic restrictions, it seems that fewer people are ready to go out.

“We did the ArtNight Pasadena and noted [that] attendance is a little less. It doesn’t seem like people were quite ready to venture out and join a place.


At the Fulcrum Festivalcosmic collages is curated by Japanese art historian and independent curator Meher McArthur and features 10 of Kimura’s collage prints, mostly new works created by the artist for the exhibition and three borrowed from local Pasadena collectors.

The artworks will be accompanied by text explaining Kimura’s artistic motivations and the science behind his techniques, including Western printmaking, Japanese papermaking and indigo dyeing, according to the website. organization.

The exhibition opening reception will take place on Sunday, September 18 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., with a chance to meet Kimura and enjoy a visit from the curator at 11:30 a.m.

Makoto Taiko will give a drumming performance as part of the festivities. Green Life Food Market stalls will also be open from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

According to Helgesen, the organization’s upcoming events are still ongoing while the Shumei Arts Council’s annual invitational concert is scheduled for early 2023.

For more information on Fulcrum Festival 2022, visit: https://fulcrumfestival.org/exhibit/deep-ocean-deep-space-cosmic-collages-by-yuko-kimura/ To learn more about the Shumei Arts Council, visit: shumeiarts.org.

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