Contemporary Art: Noriko Kurafuji, Ye HongXing and Carlos Aires

The ART Basel is one of the biggest art fairs in the world. Meanwhile it is a week-long event which takes place all over the town. Smaller and bigger venues show contemporary and classic art. I used to work in a gallery while I was still in school and during my years as a student and my interest in contemporary art has never ceased. Every year I discover at least one painter or artist who really amazes me. This year one of them was Japanese painter Noriko Kurafuji whose flower paintings are some of the most beautiful paintings I’ve seen in recent years. I’m looking forward to an exhibition which will take place this summer.

What I like in contemporary art is the experiments with different media. From the point of view of the technique this years discovery was the work of Chinese artist Ye Hongxing. You may not see it well but these Buddha “paintings” consist of stickers for children. When you approach the work you see that the stickers which have been divided by colors show figures like Tweetie or Hello Kitty and many others like this. A religious symbol becomes upon approaching a reflection of our consumer society.

The idea to cut out smaller pictures from vinyl records and to arrange them in order to form a bigger whole is pretty amazing too, I thought. This work called Face to Face with Death is from Spanish artist Carlos Aires.

I saw the three artists in a parallel art show called Scope, not at the main ART fair.

25 thoughts on “Contemporary Art: Noriko Kurafuji, Ye HongXing and Carlos Aires

  1. Beautiful works of art, Caroline! I liked all of them but my favourite was the first one. It will sound a bit cliched, but I will still say it – Noriko Kurafuji’s painting is beautiful, surrealistic and has a lot of depth. It is like looking at the vastness of the universe or peering at the Mandelbrot set, discovering magical new universes as one looks at the tiny things. Hope you have fun at ART Basel!

    • Mine as well. I couldn’t find another word than beautiful for her paintings. they reminded me of the Japanese cherry blossoms which I like so much. I wouldn’t mind having one of her paintings. I thought the others were interesting but I’m not sure I’d want them on my walls.
      It’s a great event. I’m not going to the big fair anymore, I like the smaller venues better.

  2. Ah these are wonderful. A few people who are close to me are artists and I marvel how they “see” the world. What would the world be without art and artists. In grad school I had to choose a second subject to study and I selected art history. I think if I took an art history class earlier in my education I would have switched my major from history to art history. Hopefully in the future I can visit Basel during this art fair.

    • TBM, it is worth it. I come froma family of artists, i had an uncle whowas a pianter, my father went to arts school.
      It’s so inspiring, sometimes thought-provoking, sometimes just beautiful.

  3. This is very impressive art. I agree the experimentation is one of the more appealing things about modern art. The fact that those works, especially the middle one, are comprised of children’s stickers, is astounding!

    • I agree. I didn’t even see it at first and when i went closer that was such an “wow” effect.
      There wer many other great pieces by other artits but those just stood out for me.
      I like thw quoting and palyfulness of some of the contemporary art.
      I like experiments with different media but when it’s not too abstract or formalistic. I’m not keen on white sqaures on white walls or some such thing.

        • I wonder too. Some people would give you a one hour lecture why it’s great art.
          While I’m not against conceptual art per se I’m really not keen on geometric abstract art. Can’t help it. On the other hand when malevich did it as one of the first, it was at least new and interesting. I think to some degree I want art to tell me a story as well and not just to appeal to my intellect.

  4. That first one makes me think of Gypsy Rose Lee and her feather boas.

    I bought a poster of one of the works of art you put on your blog some time ago–the Isle of the Dead. I’ve yet to get it framed.

  5. Thank you for sharing this Caroline.
    I agree on the first one…that flower painting is amazing. I am not a fan of Pink but I love how she used pink in her painting.

    The Buddha was also great, it always awed me how a person can transform stuff into painting.

    • I’m glad you liked them.
      I really like her paintings a lot and am looking forward to the exhibition.
      It’s interesting that a lot of the most original art comes from Asia these days.

    • Yes, I was standing in front of them but the photos I took were not good, so I took these from the internet. There were many more by her and I hope to see the exhibition and share more photos then.

  6. I hadn’t heard of this art fair, so thank you for sharing this. Art is a wonderful way to introduce people to a different point of view.

    The first painting is beautiful. I like the colors and the brush strokes. I bet it is even more gorgeous in person.

    I also liked the second image. I couldn’t tell that it was made of hundreds (thousands?) of smaller images. It reminds me a bit of the Seurat painting in the Chicago Museum of Art, which looks like a pastoral picnic scene at a lake, but upon closer inspection is made up of the tiniest dots of color. What is even more amazing about this painting is that it spans one entire wall of the museum. He would have needed a ladder for a good portion of the work.

    • You are totally right, the flower paintings are even more beautiful when you stand in front of them.
      I love Seurat but have never seen such a big painting like the one you describe by him.

  7. These are gorgeous! This month in Cambridge, it’s open studios time. Literally hundreds of artists open up their work spaces to the public and you can go and chat and see their work. It’s much more dispersed, obviously, and I sometimes I wish there were more centralised venues, but it is always fun to see contemporary art, even if one only likes a small percentage of it!

    • I would love to see that. I saw it a few times in Paris as I was living with a couple of painters for a while. It was always great.
      I agree with you, it’s inspiring even though a lot is hard to understand.

  8. Pingback: Contemporary Chinese Artist Ye Hongxing in London – 13 September – 20 October 2012 « Beauty is a Sleeping Cat

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