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Exhibition: CODE — Drawings & Visual Poetry by Teo Yamamoto
May 7, 2011 - June 18, 2011
Organized by: CRS (Center for Remembering & Sharing)
The CRS Gallery is pleased to announce CODE: Drawings and Visual Poetry by Teo Yamamoto. The exhibition will will be on display from May 7 – June 18, 2011. An opening reception will be held on May 7 from 6 – 8 pm and will include a poetry reading by Teo accompanied by Hacci on Jew’s harp and bandoneon.
The art works in this exhibition consist of ink and paper drawings, chapbooks, visual poems of varying sizes. Many are composed on black paper. 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.
Are the compositions painstakingly formulated or haphazardly improvised? Godlike or childlike? Comforting or alienating? We recognize animal figures and man-made structures suggested by the same ambiguous code-like shapes. This suggests a commonality among all the elements, but there is just enough whimsy and mystery in the arrangements to preclude easy de-codifcation and to induce in the viewer a childlike delight, like life itself.
About Teo Yamamoto
Teo Yamamoto has been living in New York City since 1989. 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 and Tokyo.
Two of her books of poems were published in Japan: “running God” and “blue elf weed.” Also, her series of chapbooks titled “The tail” has been issued quarterly for four years. The latest chapbook called “CODE” is being issued in conjunction with the exhibition at CRS Gallery. The series of her visual poetry called “breath” was published in the poetry magazine “gui.”
Teo has been producing the series of white line drawings since 2007.
From childhood through my teenage years, I received many awards for my drawings and pictures, which made my young heart happy. I was delighted with it and went to art college. I dived into raucous times after graduation, working on visual design by day and rolling music at night. Later, I moved to New York and turned to the quiet life. I wrote and wrote as I kept walking, and created again. And one day, during a disquieting time in my life, swinging between hope and despair, I found a paintbrush couched in a crack in the pavement downtown. I had buried that brush at the bottom of my pocket for such a long time, but now the raccoon was out of the bag. Since then, I have been drawing these and those. This is my first solo exhibition as a visual poet.
By Teo Yamamoto
I sit in front of my desk.
The paper is already there facing me. Sometimes, I grab the pen right away and stare at the paper because it’s already begun. Other times, I just turn off all the usual lights shining in my heart, and listen in silence. Then, in time, it comes close.
It comes up from the bottom like soda bubbles. Or it falls down quietly from sky like snow flapping in the air. From here and there, slowly, or sometimes it bounces out staccato. It’s like wind blowing endlessly from anywhere.
Thus, I receive various—but most of the time I don’t know where they come from or what they signify. As a family of raccoons appears without warning deep within a forest, it’s similarly unclear how these things are connected with me. However, I can feel the raccoon’s existence clearly without hearing their life story.
The inspirations come from somewhere unknown, are perhaps important, might have a message from something forgotten, something that comes and vanishes. It’s glorious to feel and accept by drawing that mystical existence.
They who look like code and act like cryptograph, come from sky, bottom of soda, deep forest, big city and inner space of myself, are the visitors with sweet and free spirit, I think.