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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 14 December 2018

Japanese painter takes us inside her fruitful life in Dubai exhibition

Portrait of Juri Morioka. Courtesy Juri Morioka
Portrait of Juri Morioka. Courtesy Juri Morioka

New York based, Japanese painter Juri Morioka currently has an exhibition of her paintings up on show at The Workshop in Dubai. Fruitful Life is in part biographical, although the paintings are all abstract and she paints by following emotion and instinct. We caught up with Juri about her newest exhibition.

Q: Your exhibition Fruitful Life contains 15 abstract paintings - is there a theme that links them?Y

A: Yes, my poem of the same name. Here it is: Every day is another important day/ as every second leads to another/ and I know we’ll always be connected/ one way or another/ as long as time takes its steps.

Q: You describe your process as “in manner of Zen, moving my brushes along with my mind’s rhythm, relying solely on instinct and intuition”. How did you develop this technique?

A: Just like improvisation in jazz. I knew colours, music and all the abstract elements in the world before learning the Japanese language. When I paint, I always lose myself into another dimension to find the next step, which leads me to another step on canvas. Only when I lose myself, I can find myself.

Q: Are there biographical elements to your paintings?

A: My first memory of drawing was when I was a baby, grabbing crayons and drawing freely on the white walls and paper walls at home. I still remember how free I felt. Of course my parents never appreciated it. I also had to study the piano from ages 3 to 17, back in Japan. As I paint, many memories from the past show up on canvas. I normally listen to music or radio when I work, so I can free my right side of the brain from the left. When I paint, I’m in the past, now and in the future.

Q: It seems the titles of your paintings are really important - can you explain your choices there?

A: The titles come after finishing each painting. It’s like naming a new cat. I feel the painting first, and the name comes to me. Actually, the title of this show comes from my grandmother’s poetry scrapbook. She experienced several wars however she was my cheerleader. She is still cheering me from somewhere.

Q: You have exhibited in the UAE, in Abu Dhabi before - where and when was that and how did it come about?

A: I showed my art in 2010 at Qibab Gallery with a fine Iraqi painter. It seems like everything in the UAE starts with generality, curiosity, coffee, Um Ali, kunafa and such, and I’m especially thankful to the people.

Q: What is your experience of exhibiting in the UAE?

A: Some of my paintings found homes in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. I’m not living here, but I feel I never left. For example, my paintings are on the 92nd floor of Burj Khalifa, and it makes me smile every time I see the tower. Now, Mrs. Ghada Kunash gave me another opportunity at her new multiple art space, The Workshop in Dubai, I hope you’ll discover or rediscover my paintings in a peaceful atmosphere. The show will be up until March 5.

Find out more here www.juri.org