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Exhibition: CODE — a drawing like poetry like drawing
June 9, 2018
An event every day that begins at 12:00 am, repeating until July 5, 2018
CRS presents CODE — a drawing like poetry like drawing, an exhibition of small works on paper by visual artist and poet Teo Yamamoto. The exhibition will open Saturday, June 9, 2018 and will remain on view through July 5, 2018. An Opening Reception with poetry reading by the artist will be held on June 9 from 6 – 8 pm.
The types and combinations of ink and paper are a secret, an alchemical code discovered through much labor and treasured by the artist for its synergistic luminescence. The subjects, too, suggest codes, celestial constellations flickering incompletely into view, half-decoded ideograms tuned in from some scrambled frequency broadcast perhaps by nature itself, like the mysterious photons emitted by all DNA. Look closer and you’ll find that the suggested figures and structures themselves are built up out of smaller code-like patterns of similar shapes. Sometimes we sense a pattern without recognizing it. Sometimes one person’s pattern is another’s noise. What’s organic at one level may appear mechanistic up close. In Yamamoto’s work, the familiar visual distinctions between the organic and inorganic, and between the patterned and the chaotic break down.
I’m a poet as well as a visual artist. Since I was little, I began drawing pictures instinctively, just as naturally as talking to myself.
I am fascinated with “dots’ and the way dots connect to each other to become a “line.” Lines attract me even more. I am always impressed that the world, as I see it, is made up of lines. These lines, straight or curved, intersect, merge and mix, creating new forms, morphing into geometric shaped objects.
In my mind’s eye these objects change their scale, their distance and speed, floating, hovering, then pass by, disappear, pop and freeze. They hold codes for me to decipher.
Animals, plants, stones, clouds, my love of the natural world all motivate me to make art. So, too, my awe of man-made marvels and creations like skyscrapers, brick buildings, stone churches, common houses, boats and roads inspire me immeasurably.
I have been writing poems for a long time and started creating visual poetry in 2007. Through accumulated experience, I discovered how to draw pictures using the same techniques and processes for writing poetry. I shift my focus inward to my mind, and as I do, objects become simplified; their meanings dissolve and float in space. Then, slowly, the freely structured poetic world is revealed.
In pockets, I believe everyone holds a key that can open them to both see and feel my art. I wish that when people look at my drawings they can also enjoy a poetic experience.
About Teo Yamamoto
Teo Yamamoto was born in Japan and has been living in New York City since 1988. She has been producing and publishing a variety of art and has been involved as visual artist, designer, poet and writer with many projects based in New York, Tokyo, and Europe.
“CODE – a drawing like poetry like drawing” is an on-going series that Yamamoto began creating in 2007 and exhibiting in 2011 and continues to the present. As the title suggests, Yamamoto focuses on the secret of drawing pictures as if writing poetry. Exhibitions of the CODE series have been held in New York, Paris and Tokyo. Yamamoto’s works of visual poetry and objet d’art have also been shown in various group shows.
As a poet, Yamamoto has published several books of poetry, including her bilingual Japanese and English collections An Ordinary Tomorrow and Funny Tail, which also feature her exquisite drawings. She performs her readings with live music collaborations.
Two of her earlier books of poems, Running God and Blue Elf Weed, were published in Japan. She also produced a series of chapbooks, including CODE, which was issued in conjunction with her first exhibition at CRS in 2011. The series of her visual poetry called “Breath” was published in the poetry magazine Gui.