Chinatsu Ban : "Eating an Elephant One Mouthful at a Time"

I'm sorry for the lack of posting. I moved this weekend! I'm back to work now, and my first post for the week is about my favorite artist, Chinatsu Ban!

Chinatsu Ban has a solo show at the Parco Factory in Tokyo until February 9th. The show is entitled "Eating an Elephant One Mouthful at a Time"

There's not a ton of images from the show that I can find online (which, annoyingly, always seems to be the case with any of her exhibits). The work has changed a lot from her early days, and I wish I could see larger pictures of it.

While researching this show, I was able to find Chinatsu Ban's personal blog, which is filled with beautiful pieces that I haven't seen before. It's in Japanese, and Google Translate definitely isn't doing a very good job translating it for me so I can't decipher much. I'm content to click through the images :)

Here's the press release from KaiKai Kiki about Chinatsu Ban's latest show:
Adorable elephants dressed curiously in underpants. Butterflies, birds, girls and enigmatic twins. Anthropomorphic apples and ice cream cones … In her vivid paintings and drawings, Chinatsu Ban presents us with a multicolored world where the beloved motifs of children and young girls are transformed into mystical characters.
Cute but slightly unnerving, these unique creatures fuse organically with delicately rendered color surfaces, increasing in number like dividing cells. Always at play, they change shape freely, mutating into plant life and other forms.

The most prominent of these recurring characters is the elephant, a presence that, to Ban, brings with it a sense of peace, like a guardian angel. On the other hand are darker elements, like twins and monsters, beings which convey a sense of anxiety. Though her work seems at first glance to possess a fairy tale like quality, beneath the surface of Ban’s pictures is an ever present dread, born from her understanding of the mortality of living things.

The recent birth of Ban’s child, an event which allowed her to experience first-hand the stirrings of new life, has also brought about a change in her work. More decorative, more refined, her new compositions contain scenes of child-birth and the forms of parent and child, among their many images. Within them is the emergence of a world-view that can only be described as a celebration of the cycles of life. Clearly for Ban, there is an effortless link between the creative process and the day to day.
Born in Aichi Prefecture, 1973.

After participating in a series of group exhibitions that began with 2001’s "Yokai Festival" (Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo), Ban held a solo show at the Tomio Koyama Gallery and the Marianne Boesky Gallery in NY. Her giant parent-and-child elephant sculptures, exhibited in New York’s Central park in 2005, were the subject of much discussion. With this solo exhibition, comprised of paintings and drawings that include 6 new large scale works, we hope you get a chance to experience the warm embrace of Chinatsu Ban’s world.

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