Born in Kyoto in 1971 to a basket weaver and a dressmaker, Takashi Tomo-oka developed an eye for the diversity of the natural world at an early age while accompanying his father on field trips to gather bamboo for baskets.
So begins the journey of a young artist who was intrigued by nihonga (neo-tradtional Japanese painting), but drawn to photography.
Tomo-oka eliminates all extraneous visual information other than the subject itself: vegetal forms such as maples and dahlias.
Tomo-oka’s resulting images are reminiscent of the Rinpa style paintings of the 18th century, with singular birds, plants, or flowers as the subject. The stereotypical background for these paintings was gold leaf, whereas Tomo-oka’s backgrounds are starkly white.
Each photographic work is “the result of careful study of the plant forms, including structure and color, as well as their ephemerality. These spare compositions are digitally printed on washi (paper) and mounted in scroll format, further blurring the divide between Tomo-oka’s painterly sensibilities and digital methods.”
Friday, April 19th-Sunday, July 28th
Pacific Asia Museum, 46 N. Los Robles Ave., Pasadena 91101
Open Wednesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
For more info, visit PacificAsiaMuseum.org