Masaki Yada brings you Old Masters with a modern twist

Masaki Yada When I heard there was an exhibition on near Sloane Square of paintings by a Japanese artist who said his main influences were the Dutch and Flemish Masters of the 17th century, I have to admit I was intrigued to see what he would produce. What Yannick and I found when we went to take a look was not a slavish imitation, but an interesting use of old techniques for new purposes.

Masaki Yada

Masaki Yada says he is trying to rediscover the lost visual language of painters like Vermeer, Jan Van Eyck, and Willem van Aelst as well as Japanese painters of the same era, such as Jakuchu Ito. (If you want to make the comparison, have a look at my post on Jakuchu Ito). This has led him to produce a series of still life paintings with flowers and insects that are inspired by Dutch old masters.

Masaki Yada

But Yada is also interested in celebrating complexity and chaos, and in finding a coherent structure that allows room for them to thrive.

Masaki Yada

He seeks to overcome the notion of painting as representation by the intensity with which he paint the details of objects, in an attempt to reach beyond ‘the mere tracing of their appearance’.

Masaki Yada

He spreads his net wide; in the small show were some large abstracts as well as examples of his representational work.

Masaki Yada

We found that you really had to study the paintings from close up to appreciate the detail.

Masaki Yada

Masaki Yada

Some painting were hard to grasp when seen from a distance but resolved themselves into a fascinating series of vignettes on closer acquaintance.

Masaki Yada

Masaki Yada

The echo of old master techniques was disconcerting but entertaining.

Masaki Yada

And the way Yada contrasts images from nature and technology is fun.

Masaki Yada

The exhibition is on at the Ransom Gallery in Pimlico Road, a short walk from Sloane Square. It continues until 23rd July and the gallery is open Monday to Saturday 10 am to 6 pm.

9 thoughts on “Masaki Yada brings you Old Masters with a modern twist

  1. Whoa – these are stunning and absolutely fascinating. They look beautiful (not a problem in my book) and with intellectual content too. What more can you ask for? Just wondered roughly how big the works are? Could I pin a couple of your photos to my ‘Inspirational Art’ board? Fascinating post, Agnes.

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  2. I’m going way off-topic with this comment. Did you know that there is a plaque in Regent’s Park, on the ground, under a Japanese elm tree, commemorating the fact that the tree was donated by the Mitsui company? The tree was planted by Princess Alexandra in 1980, and was one of 10,000 disease-resistant elms imported from Japan. I only spotted the plaque today, and I must have walked past the tree many times.

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