Enchanting Mindscapes: The Explosion of Color and Secret Symbols
Jun Ishida's art invites you to an enchanting realm where figures from Buddhist iconography commingle with haiku poems, Chinese Buddhist mantras, and Tibetan secret symbols. Here is a celebration of color and the gathering place of rabbits, storms, fish, and fragments of poems in both Japanese and English. Ishida's canvases, teeming with life, bring to mind fertility and the glory of the present moment. His most provocative paintings incorporate a high level of detail and offer unusual perspectives -- from beneath a tree looking at a spray of branches -- and a collage-like effect of powerful images -- flames, bull's horns, and floating poems. In bringing to life Asian imagery in all its elegance, the artist invites the viewer to experience the immediate sensation of color and fantasy while the lingering eye will attempt to decipher the layers of meaning and paint.
"Darling Can We? Spring Stream" emits a mysterious gleam that transcends representational water. An unleashing of the imagination, this work evokes a place mesmerizing in its blending of branches and blossoms with a more stylized stream. The cascade of white blossoms interwoven with the abstract combines naturalistic depth with flat images. Unifying the idiosyncratic with the abstract is also evident in "Seeking the State of Samadhi," an imaginative feast of floating flowers in resplendent color, a backdrop of neither water nor air but suggestive of both. "Be a Master of Your Mind" is an abstract braiding of colors, a colorized DNA-like strand of spontaneous energy. This work is so evocative in its detail that it seems made of thread and light rather than paint. The web of connections in all these works unites the concrete -- the moon or a leaf -- with the elusive spirit that permeates them. The shared conversation between artist and subject is evident in the works' arousing titles, sometimes imperatives or questions that invite us to surrender to an abundance larger than the canvas.
Some of the canvases are mindscapes, like "Thought in the Dark" - that conjure states of being in color and copious detail, the abstract merged with the representational. Integrating these dualisms, Ishida's paintings are a magic carpet ride to a sometimes surreal terrain, where the simplest object -- an avocado, a candle, a lotus flower -- is suffused with an uncommon radiance. In pursuing the dignity of the beautiful, Ishida's work pays homage to East Asian art, but also uncovers the unexpected with carefully captured forms that inhabit a highly charged landscape.