"The Ring of Fire" East meet West art exhibition al LELA (Lantern of the East) International Gallery in Little Tokyo is refreshing. In Allan Watts Book titled "This Is It" Zen teachings do not consist in finding oneself, but to come to be one with all. It is no longer a case of "separating him/her from the universal by seeking something from it" but instead, come to be one with it. In a diverse way the exhibition pronounces a common denominator; the spirit of unity and the unconstrained natural instinct of the imagination.
For Martinique Poet Aime Cesaire the coexistence of all as one does not in no way indicate "to become lost in a disembodied universalism [ÔÇª] it is a universal rich with all that is particular." This is the essence of the exhibit Ring of Fire, East Meet West at LELA International Gallery.
The exhibit's display of poetry on walls, universal configurations on canvases and cubes, expressive brush strokes of dense tar outlined paintings all transit across the gallery walls. Midway across the gallery artist Edem Elesh's paintings are magnetic. His expressive and imprecise lines of his figurative paintings are the calling element that draws one to his art. Elesh's "Blue Chair" laid out on aluminum is translucent and vivid. It is a blue greeting chair that resonates as the center of countless moments of jazzy gatherings. His work is bathed with personal experiences that can be felt in every stroke of paint spontaneously gathered on the surface.
Setsuko Hayashi work of art is a fascinating demonstration of her use of natural dyes from plants and flowers as her main medium for her artwork. There are no conclusive outlines, all outlines that shape her figurative art are manifested by the overlapping between dyes. It is here were I find her style of bordering outlines unique. In essence there is not one sole color that states a border, but the combination of two or more that blends together to shape her soft and quite spiritual artwork lines.
The exhibit also enlaces poetry by Rooney that is accompanied with graphic designs. His poetry can stand on its own with or without the company of any graphics. One cannot help but to absorb each and every one of his poems. Rooney's poetry is one that calls to be in a pocket size book, one that can be carried anywhere and read at any given moment for inspiration and admiration.
As one walks further into the gallery setting from poetry to spiritual expressions and spontaneously colorful brush strokes artist Alfredo R. Jaramillo dips the visitor into his cosmic universal vision with geometrical configurations of the universe. In this exhibit Jaramillo not only does he share his cosmic thoughts of light as the source of all energy on large cubes and canvases, but puts forth one very personal narrative, his large then life painting, "The Red Scare."
This painting takes him back to the Vietnam era and draws us closer to his experience in Vietnam as a young soldier. Violent textured strokes of orange paint are daggered into the painting's background, surrounded with deep green foliage that represent the deadly chemical known as Agent Orange. The chemical warfare killed all plant life and contaminated the fertile soil for decades to come. Agent Orange concludes it use by bringing deadly consequences to soldiers on both sides of the conflict who were exposed to the chemical to this very day.
"It is a painted outburst against the rape of the land, minds and women" said artist Jaramillo. Jarmillo's universal vision that every strand of life originates from light and cosmic energy unites us all, could not be complete without paralleling it to ideologies that do no service to life but that instead add to the destruction of humankind.
Writer Adolfo S. Vasquez states that, "The artist addresses himself to reality in order to express his vision of the world" and in doing so "the conception of art as cognition emphasizes that the artist is approaching reality," In other words the spirit of awakening the Satori. It is a stage in were material aspirations lessen and other qualities come to pronunciation. As one continues the journey across and through the gallery setting one is met with the welcoming oil paintings of artist Hideo Sakata.
Sakata's non-representational references are painted gestures that reflect a given state of Satori, an awakening. Sakata's consistency with the spirit of Satori echoes several characteristics of Zen thought in his art; simplicity, timelessness, latency, and internal peace. His paintings are deep with transparent colors layering across one another coexisting to be experienced in relation to each other. Several of Sakata's paintings consist of a line vertically brushed across the canvas with a very frequent colored point off centered on the canvas wall. This gives an effect of a rotating star that dims and brightens according to distance. The encounter between the point and the vertical brushstroke becomes the "horizon."
For Hideo Sakata, "Everything begins with a horizon and ends with a horizon. It is symbolic for hope and renewal. With every dawn in the making hope is on the rise." The brushstroke across the middle can be mistaken as a dividing factor in Sakata's composition. This is not the case with his paintings. It is a slight revealing between the inner and outer light we all carry within us and radiate as well. There is a strong sense of concern for humanity in Sakata's paintings. Scott Canty director of Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery while conversing with Sakata asks, "Hideo, you are everywhere helping others, why?" Sakata's answer to his question is, "That is what has to be done. There is no time to think about it."
The exhibition the Ring of Fire, East Meets West is a cross section of all that that intersect between common universal experiences. It brings forth particular ways of expressing ones inner light.
The exhibition can be experienced until March 30th, 2014, from Wednesday to Sunday between the hours of 1 pm - 6 pm.
Closing reception is on March 30th starting at 2 pm to 6 pm.
LELA International Gallery is located on the second floor at 333 S. Alameda St. Los Angeles Ca. 90013.