Keisho Okayama

Keisho Okayama: Zenkai to Tatsuko,
A Gift of Transmission
Japanese American Cultural & Community Center
December 8, 1990 to January 27, 1991

“My paintings are finally at home here at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center. This show relieves for me the anguish of the many years of alienation from the country of my birth and of so much confusion and guilt about my sense of obligation to its culture. Having lived in this country since the age of two, I am a Japanese American. Inherent in that classification, however, is a dichotomy of values which cannot be dealt with, at least, at the more profound levels of one’s psyche, without enormous stress. There is a reason why the JACCC is called a cultural and community center. I am sure that its directors know well the reasons why, but also know equally well of the problems created by such delineation. Cultural, of course, means Japanese, and community must mean American. To be an American means that one is essentially multi-cultural, and any attempt to posit a specific cultural identity then creates a stressful dilemma.
“I have sub-titled my show ‘From Zenkai and Tatsuko, a gift of transmission’. I wish to make clear that my parents’ gift of transmission to me and my brothers was not cultural in that large imposing sense of culture but a transmission that resulted from the daily intimacies of our lives – in the unadorned living out and the natural unembarrassed exposure of their strengths and weaknesses that only intimacy will allow. It is a gift that has required time for me to accept, but in its acceptance it has allowed for me a freedom beyond the constricted confines of the usual cultural context. Surely, it is that fundamental intimate linkage with other human beings that serves as a basis for art and culture. If my paintings are truthful, they should give evidence of my conflicting dualities, but hopefully resolved in a matrix of intimacy.”

– Keisho Okayama, 1990

Following are Installation shots of the show:

installation views of JACCC show, showing paintings, Old Age, Middle Age, Childhood
From left to right: Old Age, Middle Age, Childhood.
JACCC show, installation view
JACCC show.
installation views of JACCC show, showing paintings, Dark Center, Aged Figure with Green Circles and Yellow Light (Intimate Gesture)
From left to right: Dark Center, Aged Figure with Green Circles and Yellow Light (Intimate Gesture)
JACCC show, installation view
JACCC show.

Keisho Okayama: Recent Work
FIG (First Independent Gallery)
April 20-May 21, 2016

Keisho Okayama portrait “My paintings are about how color and the brushwork interact to create an intimate and harmonious pictorial space. I have no preconception as to what I am about to paint. I simply start painting and assume that the painting will resolve itself in the process.
 
“Nature has always been an abiding inspiration and influence in my work. However as an artist, I cannot discount all the experiences that one encounters in life, the art works in history that I have seen, and the fact that I was born in Japan must certainly enter in. I am so grateful to have painting in my life, because the act of painting tends to dispel my feelings of insecurity and anxiety that frequently cloud my consciousness.”

– Keisho Okayama, 2016

Following are Installation shots of the show:

installation views of FIG show, showing  Patchwork, Blue Fog, Twilight Yellow and Green Horizon
Installation views, From left to right: Patchwork, Blue Fog, Twilight Yellow and Green Horizon
installation views of FIG show, showing Distant Yellow, Black Edge, White Arc and Floating Pink Mark
From left to right: Distant Yellow, Black Edge, White Arc and Floating Pink Mark
installation views of FIG show, showing Patchwork
At right: Patchwork.
installation views of FIG show, showing Clear Red and Descending Black
From left to right: Clear Red and Descending Black.
installation views of FIG show, showing Opposing Gold and Green, Red Corner and Gold Over Green
From left to right: Opposing Gold and Green, Red Corner and Gold Over Green.