Ko Kirk Yamahira 

November 4  –  December 3, 2022
We aren’t forced to breathe, we just do it, our organs are a complex set of systems designed to breathe, pump blood, connect to movement, thinking and making. Ko Kirk Yamahira makes art like breathing, not by choice. When I spoke to Yamahira about his upcoming show at studio e, I asked “How long is a studio session?” he replied, “I live where I make art, so I’ll say 24/7.”

Yamahira unfurls curves made by lines upon lines of unwoven strands of cotton. He plays with form, color and motion in waves of woven and unwoven threads. Like a poetry of sounds instead of words, he’s making visual music. In this new body of work we’ll see threads flipped, twisted so the front and back of canvases are exposed. Yamahira asks us, “What is the front and what is the back? And do they have similar value?”

The twist, or flip, is essential to the meaning of the work. “I try to reach a goal, but in a way there is no goal ‘cause everything is a spiral.” We talked about elements in opposition, ideas like tension and looseness, solids and liquids, breathing in and out. As two points revolve around one another they trace a circle. As the points shift and move into three dimensional space, imagine them forming a spring or a spiral. The points represent two actions, but the energy between the two actions is Yamahira’s focus, the twist.

Two points located opposite one another. The world (and words) around the maker and the making, the artist and the audience, the art and the observer, the artist and their art. The pairs spin around each other - like binary star systems in space. Now they float, creating a spiral helix, a tornado of time. No moment stands alone. Everything is connected and between moments, or breaths, or even in the space between a doorway and a room, there’s a way through which can be perceived as either ordinary or extraordinary. Yamahira creates room to drift and studio e invites us into the mix. Stand and exist with these pieces. With our feet on the ground breathing in, pausing, and out, pausing, and in again. We are here and everywhere and nowhere. Separate and together.

-Erin Shafkind


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