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Katsuyoshi Inokuma – Ultimate Blue

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Whitestone Gallery is proud to present artist Katsuyoshi Inokuma’s (b. 1951, Fukushima, Japan) first solo exhibition in Hong Kong for our grand opening on Hollywood Road.

Inokuma’s ultra marine blue awash the rugged texture of his atmospheric canvases. This rugged texture is created by a mixture of gesso, acrylic, and coffee powder. In 1995, Inokuma received coffee as a gift from a friend, and was properly inspired; He then incorporated coffee powder into his materials ever since. The blending of these materials produces a thick impasto, is then let dried on the canvas and scraped off to create a rugged surface. The artist manipulates the foundation layer by adding different kinds of pigments before painting over the surface with a final coat of his signature ultra marine blue. This method creates an illusion of different shades of blue, that give his works a kind of special effects. Inokuma preferred colors are blue, black and white, for the artist, these colours represent detachment from emotions and passions. The simplicity of his choice of colours parallels his abstract form of expression. For Inokuma, abstraction is a “release from my bindings”, a way for him to go beyond the limitations of figurative representation. Faded edges of rectangles, squares or geometric shapes, convey a sense of fluidity and quietness, allowing the viewer to feel and emote with the energy exuding from the canvases. Indeed, the combination of white, black and blue with abstract fluid shapes, endow his canvas with an atmosphere of tranquillity and spirituality.

Inokuma began his artistic career relatively late in life. Although his interest in painting was sparked in his 20s, he only began pursuing it with fervour after he was made redundant from his job in his 40s. He endured much trials in the beginning of his artistic career, however, his talent and persistence prevailed, giving his canvases a distinctive quality.

Katsuyoshi Inokuma was born in Fukushima, Japan and won the grand prize for the Shigeru Aoki Exhibition Award in 1996. After which his artistic career took off, he went on to receive the Fukushima Art Association’s Special Selection Award. He has been exhibited extensively in Japan, including an exhibition at the Karuisawa Museum.