Kurihara Jugo // Japan
Kurihara Jugo is a Japanese artist and painter based in Shanghai and Tokyo. Jugo’s work coopts traditional styles of painting, drawing, and calligraphy from Chinese and Japanese canons to create the grotesque backbone of his whimsical paintings. Originally from Tokyo, Jugo studied at the College of Fine Art at Tokyo University and currently works out of a studio, The Sun Art Gallery, in the M50 art distinct on Shanghai’s Moganshan Lu. Jugo creates forms inside loose grounding. He creates complex texture out of delicate line work that brings familiar attributes to unknown species and presences on the page. His paintings are introspective and project the outside through the individual’s system of processing. They encapsulate the fine points of each person’s method of arranging their environment. The product is what the artist has snuck through the barrier of the individual and the outside community. Rather than producing a full scene or self-containing construction, he creates a presence. Often, that presence is otherworldly and staunchly, eerily individual. To view his images is kind of like doing drugs by yourself. His recent work ranges from psychedelic plasmodia of color to fleshy, almost surgical, black-and-white images of what you might find pickling in jars in the second-story basement closet of a morgue. Waxing off both childish and disturbing aesthetics, he has said that his creative process brings the outside world into the artists’ own for retrospection and disassembly. If his work does consider the community, it is only as systematic input for the individual. Jugo’s style is technically impeccable. As jolting and alien as the forms he constructs are, there is something remarkably comfortable. We are each tied to the aesthetic we have been served regularly through the years and that that is evoked through the refinement of Jugo’s style. In some way, he produces small conceits on a large scale.
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