During one of our many discussions in the studio, we came across a hidden sensation, something that is always present, yet it’s causes or even the meaning of its existence still felt very abstract, but we agreed in describing it as a dull but constant pain. This is our attempt to interpret this well of abstract sensations, and during this process we hit many notes, but one in particular kept showing up over and over for both of us, death. Maybe the fear of it, maybe what it leaves behind for the living, whatever it is, it exists. This phantom pain keeps us going, fuelling our actions in life, always present, like gravity flowing through us and all things, always wise, reminding us, ironically, that everything is impermanent. We hope that you may welcome this pain with warmth, and that it may feel less abstract now, as it does for us, through our exhibition Phantom Pain at Backwoods Gallery.
- Yusk Imai and Dante Horoiwa
Yusk Imai is a self-taught contemporary artist who was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1982, to a Japanese descendent family. At the age of 6 months, his family migrated to São Paulo where he lived until recently. Since 2007, Yusk has exhibited extensively within galleries, at art fairs and on the streets of Europe, USA, Australia and South America.
The flat perspectives and dramatic curves demonstrated in Imai’s work is reminiscent of Art Nouveau greats such as Gustav Klimt. His work exposes the rawness of humanity through surreal landscapes and characters reeking of maniac behaviour, insomnia, suffering and self-exploration, Imai’s paintings and drawings seem to lure us into a curious state of awe and questioning.
Dante Horoiwa is a self-taught contemporary artist who was born in São Paulo, Brazil in 1988, to a Japanese descendent family. Recently, Horoiwa has exhibited his paintings at the El Centenario Museum in Mexico, with further features in United States, South and North American galleries, as well as large-scale murals on the streets of East and West Europe.
His work frequently deals with themes closely connected to the foundations of human existence, which are universal to all living beings. Using a placid colour scheme of neutral shades, Horoiwa’s paintings, drawings and murals possess a mysterious, spiritual and soulful tonality. His work delves into the depths of human experience to explore the seen and unseen, using familiar devices such as long hair, textiles, plants and threads to connect the various forms and evoke our sense of something magical and supernatural.