Yusuke Asai Soil

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Those remarkable murals are made of earth found around Houston — 27 different colors! The awesome installation is a work of Yusuke Asai! The forest murals rising from floor to ceiling, sweeping to three walls and even spilling onto the floor, so huge, so vast as to seem uncontrollable.


Asai calls dirt a “living medium.” He has named the installation “-Yamatane,” Japanese for “mountain seed.”


The primarily colors are brown, although the mural seem monochromatic, but the range of gradations is very diverse. When you enter the gallery you get the impression of a weird and outstanding new world full of colors nad curly patterns — this is his world and it’s up to you to understand it.


DesignSigh is extremely impressed of the Asai imagination – a phantasmagorical world filled with creatures great and small, a jungle thoroughly populated with denizens, some resembling familiar animals, others alien to the eye.


Whether animal, bird or reptile, they almost all seem to be wide-eyed, with a look that may be astonishment. Is it merely a natural alertness in listening for the footstep of a predator, or is it astonishment at the gift of life?


Asai says, “I do not decide on a story or meaning before I start painting. Imagery of figures and creatures comes to me in the moment. Fox, bird, cat and sunshine — everything has a role; parts disappear and something is added. The world accepts it and keeps changing. I begin each work thinking of the countless small things that come together to make a larger world.”


DesignSigh loves self-motivated and self-taught personalities and Asai is one of them ♥ He says: “I studied ceramics in high school, but when I found it too expensive to go to university, I decided to teach myself. I learned by going to the zoo and to museums, by studying the folk art and tribal art of many cultures and by observing how people create things. I accepted the ephemeral nature of dirt as a medium from the moment I started painting with it…When I erase the painting, it is sad, but within the context of the natural world, everything is temporary.” Congratulations!!!


Asai and two assistants completed the mural in just two weeks, an incredibly short time for such a massive induction. The abundance of his imagination is evident, as are the originality in his use of materials and his devotion to education. A Big Hug for you – a tiny sweet Japanise painter 🙂

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