Shogo Okada and WIl Kucey Gallery are pleased to announce his first solo exhibition with the gallery. Interested in art informed by graphic culture, as well as the intersection of Eastern and Western practices, Okada explores themes related to painting, drawing, printmaking, street art, anime, cartoon and graphic culture.Through an art based focus, Okada
manipulates and explores the power of simple lines and geometries through popular culture and the ability to conjure connections to memory and recognition. Be it traditional Japanese printmaking, kimono print design, or animators who have developed household names here in North America or Asia, with references to comic strips such as
Peanuts, or cultural phenomenon such as Babar, Okada’s practice focuses on our ability to recognize, register, and synthesize the graphic culture around us.
The Heroes in a Half Shell series, a throwback to the wildly popular and nostalgia-inducing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise, displays two distinct strategies found in Okada's work. One, a strict simplification of shape and form to mimic the original source image, and two, riding a line of recognition that triggers a viewer's memory. Calling
forward memories of consumed popular culture, Okada nudges his viewers into a recall of imagery to determine the source. Of course, the experience of different generations and populations differs in recognition or nostalgia, but Okada's sampling stretches throughout the 20th century and into the 21st. Motifs include the ice cream truck window,
the plastic drinking straw, The Simpsons, Peanuts and Felix the Cat.
The work of Shogo Okada also looks at the phenomenon of daily life, whether it be the intricacies of Japanese kimono design, the decades old collection of storefront fonts discovered in Montreal, or spotting the charm in the familiar shape and finish of an ice cream truck window.
Born in Osaka Japan, and now based between Toronto and Montreal studios, Okada arrived in Canada seeking out opportunities for his unique practice. Mixing the above mentioned elements of his visual practice with his connection to the BMX cycling community and a love for hip-hop, Okada's unique position reflects a visual culture experience
of a generation born and raised in the 80's and 90's.
REALITY AIN'T ALWAYS THE TRUTH
MARCH 10-27, 2017
WIL KUCEY GALLERY
1183 Dundas St. W.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Director: Wil Kucey
Gallery Manager: Vinna Ly