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Cherry Blossoms on the Canvas

It has been over 20 years since Yuriko Lochan shifted base from Japan to India,yet the homeland refuses to leave her canvas.

Written by Vandana Kalra |
November 29, 2009 3:42:49 am

It has been over 20 years since Yuriko Lochan shifted base from Japan to India,yet the homeland refuses to leave her canvas. This time,pale-pink cherry blossoms cover her nude that glistens against a gold backdrop in the triptych Self and the Cherry Blossom. “They indicate recall. I have never painted cherry blossoms before,” says Yuriko,47,whose solo exhibition opened at Galerie Romain Rolland on Friday.

Yuriko moved to Delhi in 1987,after marrying Rajeev Lochan,present director of the National Gallery of Modern Art,and,in 1997,did a series of women crowned with Indian blossoms like the gulmohar and the amaltas.

This time,Yuriko’s nudes have a striking resemblance to herself. Though she insists that the resemblance is mere coincidence,she does not deny the similarity. “It represents womanhood. It could be me too,” she says,looking at the canvas,Mother Nature,which has a nude emerging from turbulent waves,seeking peace with joined palms. In Self-Avatar,a calm Durga is projected without weapons,her fingers instead unfold in different mudras.

Yuriko has extensively referenced Indian mythology,and elements from her previous series — such as apsaras and goddesses whom she had painted with gansai,a mineral stone colour used in Japanese paintings — continue to surface. “One progresses as an artist,but the old work is not forgotten,” says Yuriko. She rules out going back to installations and performance art that she experimented with as a student at Kyoto City University of Arts,but the shikishi paper will remain her preferred medium.

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“I lug it from Japan during my annual vacation,” she says. In this exhibition,some of the works in the series Tree of Life and the set of Banana Leaf dedicated to Kerala have been painted on shikishi.

The exhibition is on at Galerie Romain Rolland,Alliance Française,till November 30

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First published on: 29-11-2009 at 03:42:49 am
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