Yukako Shibata at Lightgallery

Yukako ShibataBlogging about London with a Japanese flavour means that I scour the nooks and crannies of London life to find the subjects for my posts, ranging from the big exhibitions at public galleries to little shows by up and coming new artists. That’s what led me to the Lightgallery in Porchester Place to see an inspiring show by Japanese artist Yukako Shibata.

Yukako has lived in the UK for the past decade. She studied at Byam Shaw and City and Guilds Art Schools and did her MA at the Royal College of Art. This is her sixth solo exhibition and she’s also shown at a whole list of group exhibitions, most recently last year at the Ing Discerning Eye Exhibition in the Mall Gallery, selected by Doris Lockhart Saatchi.

Yukako Shibata

Her work is deceptively cool and simple – primarily white, they might blend into the white walls if it were not for the subtle use of colour, very often not so much on the work as behind it. When you see it you understand why the exhibition is titled Colour Shadow, because that is just what the colours do. Take her Breeze series, shown below. Look at them straight on and they’re white; but step to the side and colours start to appear from behind.

Yukako Shibata

Yukako was at the exhibition the day I went so I asked her about this work, Green 251.

Yukako Shibata

She told me to stand right in front of it for two or three minutes – sure enough the green started to emerge from behind the frame. There is also a subtle hint of pink around the inside of the frame. I wasn’t sure it it was really there or whether it was a trick of the green light from behind. She laughed when I asked her about it; ‘The pink is realIy there,’ she said. ‘But I like to trick the eyes.’

The colour shone so strongly I thought there must be a light behind it, but when I looked it was all done with paint. “I don’t use anything electrical,’ she confirmed.

Yukako Shibata

Some of her other works use colour more strongly, but produce an odd effect of seeming to fade round the edges, like this one, Colour Notes.

Yukako Shibata

These works, Shadowfall: blue and Shadowfall: pink set the colour shadows inside little circles in the work.

Yukako Shibata

As does this one, titled Colour of Shadow.

Yukako Shibata

Yukako also works in three dimensions, with smooth round stone and ball-like structures, like this one, Beings (pink) in the gallery window.

Yukako Shibata

This one is Beings (sky).

Yukako Shibata

The exhibition is open Tuesday-Sunday 12-6 pm and continues until 20 July. The works are for sale with prices ranging from £360 to £3,000 (for the Emerald Circle shown at the top of this post). The Lightgallery is in Porchester Place, a short walk from Marble Arch tube station.

Yukako Shibata

14 thoughts on “Yukako Shibata at Lightgallery

  1. How lovely!
    I’m really curious about the photos – was it easy/ier to capture the colours in the photos, or was it harder than with the naked eye?


  2. What fascinating works. Really enjoyed this post. It reminded me of how the colours changed on the pure white walls of Carlos Cruz-Diez’s Chromosaturation at the Hayward Light Show. But unlike that work, you could imagine these pieces in a private home.


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