Nana Shiomi – Reverse Universe (3 stars)

Nature of duality explored in Japanese artist's woodcut prints

*7prints *4nana Shiomi: Reverse Universe

The nature of duality, says Japanese artist Nana Shiomi in her self-penned programme notes for this exhibition, is at the heart of her work. Merging the traditional style of her home country with everything she has learned since moving to the UK, these woodcut prints dwell upon ideas of east and west, the national and the international, and the change of viewpoint that a shift in perspective brings. Up is down, left is right, and seemingly easily read views require greater effort to divine what’s going on than might initially have been expected.

Japanese-style rooms reflect back upon themselves, a staircase inverts across two halves of a print and a house sits perfectly reflected in water. The simple geometric perspective of a floor viewed apparently from distance, straight lines of the floorboards receding towards the horizon, is also one which Shiomi plays with continually, whether showing them reflected in carefully positioned mirrors or placing objects upon them. In particular, one diptych which shows 3D waves in the style of Hokusai’s ‘The Great Wave Off Kanugawa’ provides clear ground between Shiomi’s intent and the firmly traditional printing technique she’s chosen to use.

Edinburgh Printmakers, Edinburgh, until Sat 1 Nov.

Nana Shiomi: Reverse: Universe

Prints and other works exploring the idea of duality, commissioned and published by Edinburgh Printmakers, in the first solo exhibition in Scotland by this Japanese artist.


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