VLAB is pleased to present the solo exhibition "INHALE, EXHALE" featuring new works by 16mei that have never before been shown in an exhibition. The presentation also marks the artist’s first exhibition with the gallery in Madrid.
VLAB is pleased to present the solo exhibition "INHALE, EXHALE" featuring new works by 16mei that have never before been shown in an exhibition. The presentation also marks the artist’s first exhibition with the gallery in Madrid.The self-taught painter 16mei, born in 1995 in Japan, embarked on her artistic career firstly in 2017 with watercolors and in 2022 introduced acrylic colors to her paintings as well. After presenting her works in different Asian galleries and fairs such as Kiaf or Art Taipei, this is the first time that her works land in Spain. Since she was a child, she has always been terrified of trees and plants because, from her imagination, they looked like ghosts. As the artist relates, "my house was surrounded by orchards and I was often frightened by the peach leaves fluttering in the house. Now almost everything is empty or residential and I'm no longer afraid, but sometimes I still think of the peach trees that grew where the new houses were built and the weeds swaying in the wind."For this reason, the Japanese artist's works take us to a melancholic and fairy-tale atmosphere at the same time. Her works usually depict a young lady with large eyes and a thoughtful gaze, surrounded by flowers, nature or butterflies, sometimes with angel wings, and other times depicting a melting dreamy meadow.In this exhibition, 16mei presents a series of acrylics and watercolors that reflect her childhood fears but at the same time portraying her values and beauty. As 16mei states, ‘you have to know how to look at the fear as if it were breathing and to speak directly to it.’
The exhibition "INHALE, EXHALE" will be on view at VLAB until May 27th, 2023.
1. Where do you find inspiration?
From dreams I've had, pictures of plants, and childhood memories.
2. Tell us about the colour palette you use. What do you want to transmit to the viewer?
I prefer greens with low saturation for plants, and vague colors like grayish-yellow for people. I mix all the colors as I paint, and almost never use colors straight out of the tube.
I choose colors to convey a deep, unstable, calm image that seems to be swallowed up, so that cute characters do not become "cute" in the same sense as they are.
3. What is your favourite medium?
Acrylic and watercolor. Acrylics are my recent favorite, especially since there is not much change in color when wet and after it dries.
4. Which is your favourite time of the day at the studio?
I often make a wave pattern on the base of the canvas from 9:00 p.m. This is my favorite time because my mind is at its calmest.
5. Tell us about your daily routine
I water the flowers in my garden in the morning. During this time, I think about the painting I will do that day.
6. Who are your favourite artists and why?
I really like and admire Henri Le Sidaner's expression of twilight. I also like Van Gogh's matiere.
7. You often depict butterflies in your works, why
The butterfly's unpredictable and uncontrollable nature, which allows it to fly freely and to perch on your finger or not, is superimposed on the future, desires, and others that you wish to have.
I believe that such a glimmer of hope in the midst of feelings of fear is necessary for life (whether we can get it or not), so I depict it as a symbol of that.
8. What is your dream project as an artist?
I am interested in creating three-dimensional works, so I would like to organize an exhibition focusing on that.