The exhibition “Spurenelemente” by Aya Onodera, which RL16 is showing on the ground floor, is entered through a curtain of tulle installed behind the door by the artist. Since the shop window facing the street is also covered with fabric, one finds oneself in a spatially delineated, meditative atmosphere focused entirely on the contemplation of the exhibits: An ideal situation, one might say, as the paintings and drawings on canvas presented open up a space of sensual attention in their sensitive visual language.
In this special setting, works by the artist from the work groups “Fragments” (2013-2018) and “Spurenelemente” (since 2018) are on view. In both, Aya Onodera, who comes from the Japanese city of Kesennuma and has lived in Germany for many years, where she is currently studying for a master’s degree with Anselm Reyle at the HFBK in Hamburg – using her very own painting and drawing techniques – processes and visualizes inner images: Observations, memories, experiences.
Aya Onodera’s art work can also be seen as a reflection and reappearance of her own history – whereby the images stand for themselves in their openness. The artist herself says that her paintings are not about the visible, but materialize what is stored in deep consciousness.
The organic, sometimes almost exuberant, shimmering paintings in the “Fragments series” (oil and colored pencil on cotton) draw the eye into the depth. They were created at various locations in Korea, Greece, Italy and Germany and reflect atmospheric, scenic impressions. When you look at it, you almost get the impression that the light inside is moving. Similar to (X-ray) rays, it seems to shine through the layers of paint.
For the cycle “Spurenelemente”, which Onodera began in 2018 during a return to her Pacific Ocean hometown, memories regained after a prolonged presence in her former room and its surroundings were a trigger: „I found my tracks again and I feel how I used to live there.“ The color and pencil drawings on white-primed canvas show enigmatic blue-green-violet schemes, from which the color has also been partially erased. They sometimes reminiscent of a reflective water surface, sometimes of medical close-ups of the inside of the body, or of residues from chemical reactions.
Looking at the complementary work “In a thin and deep fog 1” (2019), in which the artist loosely covers two canvases with a white linen fabric, thus also connecting them at the same time, one can think of concepts such as „mystery“ or „inner connection“. In the artist’s own words, this formulates a „sense of invisibility, insecurity, and fragile connection …, a theme reminiscent of human relationships in today’s world.“
Text: Barbara Buchmaier
Exhibition supported by Nomura Foundation