Open

四季、夏_Four Seasons, Summer

89" x 47"

Graphite on Paper

2010

Open

四季、秋_Four Seasons, Fall

89" x 46"

Graphite on Paper

2010

Open

四季、冬_Four Seasons, Winter

89" x 46 1/2"

Graphite on Paper

2010

Japanese Calligraphy my way

-Caligrafia japonesa a mi manera (from exhibition at the Galeria 910, Oaxaca, Mexico)

Mayuko Ono Gray

Ever since I was 6 years old, I would spend every Saturday afternoon at a traditional calligraphy school. At each session, the master/teacher would give me "words" for me to practice. I would spend hours trying to copy the master's sample. Paying attention to the strokes, the speed, the pressure of the brush handling- feeling and copying the sensibility of the process that created the line qualities- and the goal is to imitate the master's sample, and then interpret the line qualities in my own way.

Desde que tenía seis años y vivía en Japón, yo me pasaba los sábados en una escuela de caligrafía tradicional. En cada sesión el maestro me daba “palabras” para practicar. Pasaba horas tratando de copiar la muestra del maestro. Poner atención a los brochazos, a la velocidad, a la presión del manejo de la brocha – el sentir y el copiar la sensibilidad del proceso que creó las cualidades de la línea – y la meta es imitar la muestra del maestro, y después interpretar las cualidades de la línea a mi manera.

The "words" used in Japanese calligraphy are usually poetic and resonates to the sensibility of "Haiku"- short and simple, but so much is contained within. For my works I chose famous Japanese proverbs that I repeatedly heard growing up- which shaped my way of thinking or beliefs in my daily life as youth, and also now they apply to my daily life in the U.S.

Las “palabras” en caligrafía japonesa son generalmente poéticas, y ellas resuenan a la sensibilidad del “Haiku” - corto y simple, pero contiene tanto dentro de sí. Para mis obras yo he escogido proverbios japoneses famosos que yo oía continuamente en mi niñez – ellos moldearon mi manera de pensar y creer en my vida diaria en mi juventud, y ahora aún son pertinentes en mi vida diaria en los Estados Unidos.

March 12, 2011

Mayuko Ono Gray: Following the Path by Rob de los Reyes

Galveston Arts Center Galveston, TX
August 27 – October 2, 2011


Mayuko Ono Gray, whose works tend toward the figurative, revisits and re-imagines that most classical of Japanese art forms – calligraphy – in an extensive exhibition titled Following the Path. The works consist of graphite drawings on paper, each illustrating a single “thread” bent and looped to form the Japanese characters for favorite proverbs from Gray’s childhood interwoven into otherwise abstract shapes. The “threads” are illustrated in three dimensional style, creating a unique challenge for calligraphy which, with brush and ink, simply involves one line crossing over another on a single plane. In these works, by contrast, Gray must make decisions as to the exact spatial relations between crossed or looped threads, including which portions of the overall shape may be seen to occupy foreground or background.
There is more at stake here than the technical challenge of keeping the threads continuous or rendering the Japanese characters in a clean, aesthetically pleasing way (the central challenge of classic calligraphy). For Gray, the tangles and curves of the drawings serve as a metaphor for the sometimes winding pathways of life – some curves are detours rather than specifically sought ends. Where we tend to be tempted to think of such detours in life as failures, wasted time, or otherwise extraneous to our “real” lives, Gray’s drawings offer a manifest sense of how even the seemingly unrelated meanderings can be seen to support an overall shape if only one steps back to admire the whole picture.
The proverbs represented are famous to the Japanese and meaningful in some way to Gray. And while the shapes of each piece tend to the abstract, some shapes offer a more literal or deliberate sense of the meaning of the proverb itself. This is particularly true in the drawings titled “Four Seasons,” the largest of the drawings in the exhibit and the only ones meant to be viewed together in sequence. The series, viewed in order, offers not only the individual story of each drawing but also a tale of a human relationship over time. Although still abstract, the shapes convey the image of two people in tentative proximity in “Spring,” closely-gripped heat in “Summer,” and then a gradual fading to a plaintive grasping in “Winter.”
At once studied and playful, the drawings create an opportunity both for an intellectual appreciation of the skill requisite to break the rules of traditional calligraphy with mastery, as well as the more visceral pleasures of following the tangled paths or abandoning such specificity for to absorb the shape as a whole.

Open

四面楚歌_Around Me Only Enermy's Songs

46" x 23 1/2"

Graphite on Paper

2010

Open

正直者は馬鹿をみる _Honest People Make Fool Of Themselves

12 1/4" x 4 1/2"

Graphite on Paper

2010

Open

おにのめにも涙_Even The Devil Sheds Tears Sometimes

11 1/2" x 3 1/2"

Graphite on Paper

2010

Open

見ぬが花、待つ間が花、知らぬが仏。見ぬほど綺麗なものはなし。

50" x 41"

Graphite on Paper

2010

Open

笑う門には福来る_Happiness Comes To The Smiling Corner

13" x 8"

Graphite on Paper

2010

Open

泣きっ面に蜂_A Bee Sting On A Weeper's Face

13" x 3 3/4"

Graphite on Paper

2010

Open

ぶたに真珠、ねこに小判_Cast Pearls Before Swine, Gold Coins Before Cats

12" x 7"

Graphite on Paper

2010

Open

あとは野となれ山となれ_I Don't Care What Happens Anymore

15" x 10 1/2"

Graphite on Paper

2010

Open

石の上にも三年 _Three Year on A Rock

13" x 5"

Graphite on Paper

2010

Open

鬼が笑う _The Devil's Smile

9 1/4" x 5 1/2"

Graphite on Paper

2010

Open

後悔先に立たず_Regret Never Comes First

13" x 4"

Graphite on Paper

2010

Open

うまのみみにねんぶつ_Praying Into A Horse's Ear

7 1/2" x 8"

Graphite on Paper

2010

Open

金の切れめが縁の切れめ_Relationships End When The Money Ends

13 3/4" x 6"

Graphite on Paper

2010

Open

かたちあるものいつかはこわれる_Anything That Takes A Form Will Break Sooner Or Later

10" x 10"

Graphite on Paper

2010

Open

あとの祭_The Day After The Party

9" x 5"

Graphite on Paper

2010

Open

虎穴に入らずんば虎子を得ず_You Won't Get A Baby Tiger Unless You Enter into a Tiger's Nest

11 1/2"x 8"

Graphite on Paper

2010  

Open

二度あることは三度ある。三度目の正直。-What Happened Twice Will Happen For The Third Time. 

40" x 33"

Graphite on Paper

2010

Open

触らぬ神にたたりなし_No God No Sin

49 1/2" x 25 1/2"

Graphite on Paper

2010

Open

人の心に戸は立てられず_You Can't Build A Door In A Person's Mind

14" x 8 3/4"

Graphite on Paper

2010

Open

敵に塩を送る_Send Some Salt To The Enemies

13" x 5 1/4"

Graphite on Paper

2010

Open

疑心暗鬼_Suspicious Mind Creates the Dark Monster

40" x 30"

Graphite on Paper

2010

Open

魚心あれば水心_Where There Is Fish, There Is Water

13 1/2" x 5"

Graphite on Paper

2010

Open

磯のあわびのかたおもい_The Unrequited Love of an Abalone

52 1/2" x 24 1/2"

Graphite on Paper

2010

Open

憎まれっ子世にはばかる _A despised child succeeds in the world

12 1/2" x 6 1/2"

Graphite on Paper

2010

Open

一寸先は闇 _The Darkness Awaits An Inch Ahead

11 1/2" x 6"

Graphite on Paper

2010


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