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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.”

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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!!!

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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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