25 May 2008
(Born in 1960)
signed, titled, inscribed and dated 'Takanobu Kobayashi; Sunbather 1; Bangkok; 2003' in English (on reverse)
oil on canvas
160 x 182 cm. (63 x 71 5/8 in.)
Painted in 2003
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East, West & Center, exh. cat., Nishimura Gallery, Tokyo, Japan, 2006.
Tokyo, Japan, Nishimura Gallery, East, West & Center, 2006.
Kobayashi began working in what has become his signature style after graduation from the Aichi Prefectural University of Fine Arts in 1986. Soon after being awarded the Encouragement Prize at the VOCA in the mid 90's and being recognized as one of Japan's best emerging artists, he was awarded a scholarship from the Bureau of Cultural Properties and was sent to Bangkok. The city provided great inspiration for many of his works, as for him it as a place where a painter can work in relative obscurity.
Kobayashi's style is characterized by appealing simplicity, symmetry and muted, harmonious colors. Referencing traditional Japanese painting style that flourished in the late 19th and early 20th century, his works have evolved into what he has termed "a new Nihonga." In his compositions, the objects he paints are placed in the center of the canvas, often reminiscent of close-up photography. With little or no background details, he gives great presence to the subject matter and emphasizes its significance. His works seem to describe the feelings he has for and the relationship he has with his subject matter, which relates to the sense of dedication to the process of his work.
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