Osamu Kobayashi: MOUND

Osamu Kobayashi Postcard Front Side

Artist’s Reception: Thursday, May 18, 2017 from 7 – 9 pm
Reception Admission: members, free; non-members, $5 suggested donation

Gallery Talk: Sunday, May 28, 2017 at 2:00 pm
Admission: Free

701 CCA
701 Whaley St., second floor
Columbia, SC 29201

701 Center for Contemporary Art in Columbia, S.C., presents Brooklyn, N.Y., painter and Columbia, S.C., native Osamu Kobayashi’s latest work in the solo exhibition Mound. The opening reception is Thursday, May 18, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m., and the exhibition will run through Sunday, July 2. The gallery talk is Sunday, May 28, 2:00 p.m.

From January – April this year, Kobayashi (b. 1984) experienced a homecoming of sorts as artist-in-residence at 701 CCA for three months. During that period, he created a new body of work for the exhibition. The work includes both small and extremely large paintings, the largest paintings Kobayashi has created to date.

“I have always wanted to work larger than I have been,” Kobayashi says. “Working in cramped spaces is part of living in Brooklyn, which generally means making smaller work. If I work larger, storage becomes a major consideration. Do I give up a wall in my studio for a finished work, or do I continue making smaller work to keep the wall space? I’ve been able to forget about these considerations at 701 CCA. If I can’t find good homes for the paintings I’ve made here, affordable storage is available.”

About the exhibition, Mound, Kobayashi says: “The mound motif has come and gone from my work since college. This is the first time I’ve focused exclusively on it. In some of the works, the mound becomes the central element, in others, it takes a backseat. I was originally drawn to the form for its energy and simplicity. Diagonals coming together create movement and a perception of depth. Even with a flat color, the bottom of the shape feels close, while the top pushes back into space. The pinnacle becomes spiritual; a place of reverence. I enjoy that beauty but also enjoy subverting it.”

Osamu Kobayashi, Dusk, 2017, oil on canvas, 20” x 16”

Kobayashi attended Springdale Elementary, Fulmer Middle School and Airport High in Columbia, where his parents own Camon Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar on Assembly Street. For his junior year in high school, he moved to the Governor’s School for the Arts in Greenville, S.C. In 2006, he received his BFA at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Md., one of the country’s most prestigious art schools. After moving the Brooklyn, N.Y., Kobayashi began to make a name for himself as a non-objective painter.

“It’s been great to be welcomed back after a long hiatus,” Kobyashi says about his Columbia homecoming. “I have visited Columbia a few days to a week each year since college 11 years ago, but being back for three straight months makes it feel like home again.”

Kobayashi’s 701 CCA exhibition will be his 7th solo show since 2011. He has participated in almost 80 group exhibitions, most in New York City and State but also several times at Lissone Contemporary Art Museum and Brescia’s AplusB Contemporary Art, both in Italy; Mindy Solomon Gallery in Miami; and the Columbia (S.C.) Museum of Art, which owns one of his paintings. Kobayashi was selected for both the prestigious 2013 Invitational Exhibition and Honors and Awards Exhibition at the Academy of Arts and Letters in New York. His work has been represented at numerous art fairs, including Art Miami; Art Market Hamptons in Bridgehampton, NY; Art Southampton, Southampton, N.Y.; Texas Contemporary in Houston; and Arte Fiera in Bologna and Art Fair Turin, both in Italy.

Osamu Kobayashi, Close, 2017, oil on canvas, 20” x 16”

The 701 CCA residency made Kobayashi realize several things. “Something I did not fully expect was the importance of uninterrupted time,” he says. “I didn’t realize how distracted I had become until I came here. For my practice, the physical act of putting paint to canvas is a fraction of the time spent working on a piece. Much of painting involves just thinking about what to paint, or how to manipulate a painting to make it better. What is not seen is the bulk of my work.

“I don’t expect to be a fulltime artist anytime soon. I could see ways in doing so, but at this point in my career, it would mean compromising the integrity of my work, which is not of interest. This residency was a luxury, but it has shown me a practice worth striving to achieve.”

For further inquiries, contact wroefs@sc.rr.com or call Wim Roefs at (803) 238-2351.

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