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YASUSHI EBIHARA (Born in 1976) Short Sleep signed, titled and dated 'Ebihara Yasushi; Short Sleep; 2007' in English (on reverse) oil on canvas 97 x 194 cm. (38 1/4 x 76 3/8 in.) Painted in 2007

Lot Essay

A part of his Lust series, Ebihara's Short Sleep (Lot 610) is an expression of contradictory feelings and evokes a variety of responses. Blending in with the pure white canvas surface, the silhouette-like portrait of two nymphesque girls stands out from the background. Except for their rosy cheeks and revealingly reddened ears, the color of their faces and bodies is a milky white. With the fragility of porcelain dolls on the one hand, and a provocative expression on the other hand, they lay intimately close to each other on the ground, facing each other, their foreheads delicately touching. Endless waves of long, brown hair covers the center of the painting, flows into each other, drapes the girl's heads, merges their bodies in every sense and creates a shared pillow. The shades of dark brown create a sharp contrast to the dominant white. Hair, in this painting, stands for sensuality, passion and unrestricted freedom and growth.

The two women resemble each other in a way that leaves the viewer with the question whether they are twins or a metaphorical philosophical mirror reflection of one another. Modern thinkers have referred to mirrors as a surface of reflection that imparts the sense of identity to the developing human being. In Short Sleep, this process in resembled by one girl who is still sleeping, while the other awakes from her "short sleep" of nescience to face: herself. However, a mirror could also be a surface of alienation. It creates an "other" out of the subject who gazes at the mirror. Similar to an overexposed photograph, the bright white colours blur the lines and contours in a way that the women become unrecognizable and transform into white masks which complete the alienation. Hence, Ebihara comments on a generation that is part of the era of digital technology, and raises unavoidable issues through the keywords of strangeness, discomfort and emptiness. His works are the synthesis of aesthetically appealing compositions and color, artistic sophistictedness and a strong and complex message.

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