Artist's Statement

© 2017 Wayne Shimabukuro

Color and drawing are the foundation of my practice. For me, painting concerns an active visual colloquy, providing a view to an interior dialogue and an immersive experience beyond the quotidian, much like a symphony engages the ear. The imagery and color in my work are referential, extracted from natural objects and phenomena and are meant to evoke associations from the viewer, although these associations may differ from my personal sources, references and intentions.

I draw literally and figuratively from the natural world. My drawing and mark making refer to and derive from botanical and biological anatomies, including marine life, as well as, the structures of both macro and micro cosmologies and writing systems, such as logograms. These sources include collected objects, such as shells, botanical matter, bones, ephemera, photographic resources, and the direct observation of natural phenomena, including landscape and weather. The specific content is intended to be ambiguous, yet evocative, referencing light and spatial phenomena, a common language of forms, and a shared cross-cultural use of symbols.

A particular influence, for more than 20 years, has been my investigation into Indian art forms and aesthetic theory, including academic scholarship and extensive travel in the subcontinent. India has an ancient and sophisticated aesthetic theory which holds, broadly stated, that the importance of a work of art is the response that the work evokes from the viewer. Within this context, color is understood to have great expressive and communicative power. Color is sui generis; it communicates in its own unique language. It creates atmosphere and elicits not only an emotional, but also a physiological response.

The art historian, William C. Agee, wrote about my work, “Her pictorial odyssey refers simultaneously to both a higher order, a timeless cosmic vastness, as well as to a private, interior world, abounding in personal histories and memories.”