Paintings by Nishiki Sugawara-Beda will be on display Nov. 20-Dec. 12 in Thompson Gallery, Roe Art Building, on the campus of Furman University. The artist will present a talk during a reception Wednesday, Nov. 29, at 6-7:30 p.m. in the gallery. Regular Thompson Gallery hours are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
The exhibition, HANA, is free and open to the public and is sponsored by the Furman Department of Art.
Sugawara-Beda was born and raised in Japan, where all schoolchildren learn calligraphy. This craft and the art of Japanese ink painting “Sumi-e” provide the foundation and inspiration for her practice. In her current series of work, she explores the relationship between written language and image on paper substrate.
Says Sugawara-Beda, “My paintings begin as densely layered linguistic compositions expressing a particular theme. For a native Japanese speaker, occasionally characters can be glimpsed and read in the literal sense. Yet more often, these layers explore possible nuances of a phrase or phrases, introducing complexity and contradictions.
“I use watercolor paper for its ability to capture the ink of a brush; calligraphy is a dance, frozen in time, which once executed cannot be revisited. As in the Japanese tradition of the craft, I am a performer on the surface of the paper as I choose those aspects of the language I wish to reveal, and those I may wish to wash away in ambiguity.”
A resident of Moscow, Idaho, Sugawara-Beda holds a Master of Fine Arts in Painting from Indiana University (Bloomington) and a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts from Portland State University (Oregon). Her work is supported by the Idaho Commission On the Arts, which is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.
For more information about the exhibition, contact the Furman University Department of Art, 864-294-2995, or visit the artist’s website at http://nishikibeda.com/.