Yurina OKADA “RAW”

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LOKO GALLERY is proud to present Yurina Okada’s solo exhibition at our gallery, “RAW” from July 1st through 31st. In March 2020, Okada graduated Kyoto University of Art & Design Graduate School Art Major (Painting Course), where she started presenting works based on photography. Her works have been selected in awards such as The Art of Color DIOR (selected, 2019, France) and ART AWARD MARUNOUCHI (Shigeo Goto Prize, 2018, Tokyo).


Okada’s artistic practice, interweaving painting and photographic techniques, is notable in the recent art scene. She adapts modeling paste on a plane canvas where she transfers photography during the drying process and makes use of the cracks emerging from it. The unintentional cracks visually appeal to the Japanese aesthetic of mono no aware, or “sensitivity of ephemera” to the viewers in a strong manner.


In this exhibition, Okada will present her latest works featuring new motifs, such as candles placed as metaphors of the cityscape, the seagull captured from a ship, or a stray cat nearby the studio. Please look forward to seeing the series which convey the moments and eternity pursued by Okada, alongside with the decaying time entwining to it.


Everything decays

The blooming flower, women, or the seagull chasing me on a ship

Buildings that humans created

Candle wax melts out, becomes another form, then hardens


All subjects were photographed for a long period

I gathered  time as much as the numbers of the camera shutter released


-Yurina Okada



Before everything vanishes –For Yurina Okada photography exhibition “RAW”–

Shigeo Goto


The waves race one after another as they are rushed by the gale before me. They are irrational beings lacking life nor emotions, but still, they behave as if they are creatures – Or should I say, it is the living matters that are no more than imitations of the irrational energy or the morals of nature. Human beings in particular, who cannot avoid consciousness toward moments.

Vilém Flusser, the author of the prognostic book “Towards a Philosophy of Photography” analyzed that photography is the very invention by humans after letters and numbers. He also affirmed that photographers who could control technology are the true homo ludens (those who play) who could behave upon freedom uniquely in this world. It is synonymous to mastering the acrobatics in order to avoid falling into the fateful nihility, or the black hole of urban dystopia which humans have created in opposition to nature.


When Okada took the camera in her hand, she must have sensed immediately that this is the equipment to transform herself and lead her to “another place”. This is something significant compared to the discussion of photography being an art form or not. In other words, only those who gained the skill to enter inside the mirror or the dream could become artists. At the same time, it means the fateful stigmata for the person to be unable to return.

Okada’s works are often stated that it “interweaves painting and photographic techniques” but this is a one-sided evaluation. The “cracks” she invented are more than a new basis of two-dimensional art.

The images of female, cityscape, birds, or flowers are not just representations – they engrave the fate of vanishing to the material in the form of cracks.

The cracks lock life and death at the same time through its duality.


Her latest series “RAW” also selects candles as representations, melting and burning out as they are placed like city buildings. Everything burns to death, and vanishes as they are swept away by the waves of the universe. This is an irresistible fate.

Therefore, Yurina Okada’s photography stands out like a planet in the dark universe. Nevertheless it does not mean it is lonely, nor hopeless.

Whenever I recall Okada’s works, I feel it is like a smile of those who could enter inside the mirror or the dream– the smile that could only be emitted from those who know the way to see the world from that side.



Shigeo Goto is an editor, creative director, art producer, and professor at Kyoto University of Arts who was born in Osaka, Japan. Under the motto of “unique editing”, he has produced many art books and photo collections for artists such as Ryuichi Sakamoto, Kohei Nawa, and many more. Some of his most recent books are “Gendai Shashin Art Genron (Modern Photography Art Theory)” co-authored by Chihiro Minato and Masafumi Fukagawa, “Art Senryaku 2/ Art no Himitu wo Tokiakasu (Art Strategy 2: Unraveling the Secrets of Art”.