September 20 - 26, 2021
Shuto Okayasu &
VOLTA Art Basel
ELYS, Elsässerstrasse 215a 4056 Basel, Switzerland
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Shuto Okayasu (b.1990, Saitama, Japan) is a painter, photographer, and illustrator. He studied Graphic Design at Tokyo Zokei University. Since he moved to New York in 2015, Okayasu has been bouncing off between photo-realistic and surrealistic images which
incorporates stylistic elements of Japanese painting and cartoons. Heavily influenced by cut and paste and sampling of Hip Hop culture, he patchworks his perception of everyday life which navigates viewers into a realistic dreamy world.
Okayasu’s work explores the dual nature of the same thing; “strange and beautiful,” real and imagined, loud and quiet, chaos and harmony, e.t.c. Through the process of art marking, what he considers as endless practice of recording and rebuilding, he lets his mind travel freely between the two worlds; offline and online, the present and the dream, and the past and the future.
In Okayasu’s work, a complicated foreground with a crowd of vivid colors creates contrast with a simple and smooth background, yet they harmonize each other in the consistent lonely quiet mood. Influenced by sampling technique of hip hop, Okayasu randomly chooses from what he is caught visually and auditory everyday and his influenced culture; Japanese Edo painting, anime, Western painting, cartoon, and combines the essence of them on canvas to appreciate and represent the world where he belongs to.
The group of Okayasu’s work at Volta Basel largely features his seascape series. In this material world, countless objects are produced and wasted everyday. Reflecting the sight from his own experience of natural disaster and the annual sea level rising affected my the climate change, water, particularly in his painting, washes away everything from art to trash and lays new horizon that reflects warm light of the sky or the someones’ apartments windows. That world is decadence and surreal, but at the same time, is true to the actual world in some way and leaves us with hope.
Mengfan Bai (b.1994, China) received her MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York, and her BFA in oil painting from Sichuan Conservatory of Music, Chengdu, China. Her works have been shown widely in the U.S. and China, including Boers-Li Gallery(New York), carriage trade Gallery(New York), PULSE Art Fair(Miami, FL), Chengdu Art Academy(Chengdu, China), White night gallery(Chengdu, China), etc. Mengfan lives and works in New York City.
Bai’s artistic practice investigates the silent yet the tenacious force of globalization and its homogenization of urban landscapes. Her paintings stem from the growing difficulties in identifying buildings and sites solely through the form in contemporary cities, especially as they are further “re-structured” by digital screens. Bai’s work continuously magnifies and reexamines this indistinguishability, gently shifting our perceptions of reality.