noriyoshi morimoto

Japanese artist Noriyoshi Morimoto’s is deeply inspired by the tenacity and purposefulness of the natural world. His works feature organic black lines in repeating motions upon a starch white surface. Morimoto’s artistry lies in finding infinite variety in his restricted palette, as he works mainly with black and white acrylic paints, which is also a nod to traditional Japanese technique.

His work is greatly influenced by his experience during the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake in 1995, which brought extreme damage to the city of Kobe, Japan. The quake triggered over 300 fires, which raged over large portions of the city. Morimoto described seeing everything burned down in the city three days after the quake hit. He found himself looking at the ash-covered ground, and noticing a tiny plant’s leaves emerge from under the black ashes, giving him a feeling of hope for his devastated world. From this experience, the emotions viewers intuitively perceive in Morimoto’s works can be interpreted as part of some organic, powerful, and cosmic process. Similar to how the cell constitutes the building block for life, the simplicity Morimoto uses to render images onto canvas builds into more complex integrations, with a certain rhythm and performance. His paintings keep growing and quickly become rooted in the viewer’s mind.

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