Yumi Karasumaru

Facing Histories

Exhibition from 10October>09November2014

Galerie Houg presents the second solo exhibition of the Japonese artist, Yumi Karasumaru : FACING HISTORIES

For this new exhibition in Lyon, at Houg Galerie, Yumi Karasumaru presents a new series of paintings and a performance especially designed for this solo show.


Yumi Karasumaru’s new project summarises the principal themes that have characterised her career over the last few years: personal and collective histories, historical and everyday events, which focus on an existential reflection on the strain of living, the difficulty of each individual, even the smallest, to respond to society’s expectations.

Yumi Karasumaru attempts to show that everyone faces histories and stories very usually in daily life. It will be sometimes a history of a person, sometimes a long and deep family history, or can be a history of somewhere special such as one’s mother country. Facing such various histories, Yumi gives colours with simple and open mind to what she thinks about or feels from them, and makes drawing as if she talks to them.
In the performance, she would create a unique world dressed in floss silk coloured Kimono, the Japanese traditional cloth, expressed by the mixture of sound, voice, rhythm, image, colour, and light. She devotes herself to express her honest feelings having its moment with the “Roots” or origin she has come from deep in her heart.
Since the beginning of the Nineties Yumi Karasumaru’s research has developed pictorial images and performances in parallel, in an intense cultural investigation of the relationship between the present and the past of her country of origin, Japan.
In the paintings, as in the performances, the artist explores the history and spirit of a people suspended between tradition and the future; she analyses the crisis of a society whose customs have been modernised and westernised, causing deep trauma and unbearable lacerations, reflected in a surprisingly high number of suicides and murders. 
In the performances, which combine Japanese theatre with western recital, as well as in the pictorial works, the memory of traditional Japanese painting coexists with Nipponese pop culture, with particular reference to Manga and Anime (Japanese cartoon) characters. 
Her paintings are created from photographic images, often taken by the artist herself, in which family portraits, teenagers in the street in the quarters of Tokyo where young people hang out such as Shibuya, Harajyuku, Ginza interchange with urban views of Tokyo, she shows also “ Tokyo landscape series.
Each painting is the result of slow, patient and meticulous work. The artist uses a very personal pictorial technique, projecting the photographic images onto the canvas in order to accurately trace the outlines of the colours and then fill them with layers of unreal colours which simulate the effect of digital images, concealing the artist’s strong emotional involvement.

Download this file (YumiKarasumaru_DP_Uk_email.pdf)Press Kit Facing Histories[ ]