GINZA, Tokyo / 13 July - 4 August, 2012

Ever since Rieko Kawabe started writing calligraphy at the age of three, she has been exploring her own artistic expression by using Japanese characters, Her performing arts as well as installation work have been highly acclaimed at the National Gumet Museum in Paris, POLA MUSEUM ANNEX and Miysukoshi Ginza in Tokyo and many other places.

"In ancient times, written words in Japanese were thought to be more than just signs. The very act of writing carried a special meaning that was associated with ritual ceremony, and only certain special chosen people were allowed to perform writing. People in antiquity believed that the written word contained powerful energy." ---Rieko Kawabe

While Kawabe also serves as a Shinto priest, she is familiar with ancient characters which used to be recognized as symbolic figures connecting the spiritual world to society. By looking at her work, the letters described as running lines, splashed dots in strongly brushed and dripped sumi ink seem as if they were derived from another world. In recent year,

She also works on canvas with acrylic and oil paintings to create in a more pictorial format. In her "KO.TO.TA.MA" series, the numberous ancient words fantastically float over the surface and although they lead us to an abstract visual experience, at the same time, they give a strong sense of letters even thogh they are unreadable.

The Japanese art scene has been struggling to reflect the Western values in the Japanese art since the Modern era. As a consequence, the innate aesthetic derived from primitive times has been avoided as an irrational matter. However nowadays it seems that authentic values of Japanese culture has been revived and are required by the public. In such a period of transition, Kawabe evokes the original aesthetic and significance of life through her unusual body of work. At this time, more than 20 art works including a new series of "KO.TO.TA.MA" are to be shown at once.