This too, shall pass”
Exhibition Dates: September 5 – October 1, 2019
Opening Reception: September 5, 6:00-8:00 pm
The O’Kane Gallery at the University of Houston-Downtown presents new and earlier work of Japanese artist Mayuko Ono Gray. Ono Gray received traditional ink calligraphy training in Japan but also attended Western-style classes, mastering the use of graphite and charcoal. She uses these materials to draw abstract elements and figurative ones. Undulating, yet controlled modeled tubes weave in and out of naturalistic forms that sometimes depict a person or sometimes an animal. These combine with chiaroscuro effects to create dynamic expressions. The movements of these linear elements across and off the page is suggestive of something extending beyond the present moment, proposing that what is seen extends into infinity. Specific characters from Japanese script emerge and intertwine. The calligraphy is derived from varying traditions of Japanese lettering, including hiragana and >em>kanji. The characters spell out proverbs or common aphorisms such as “this too shall pass.” In this manner, Ono Gray follows a long tradition in Japanese art in which words are written alongside visual imagery as commentary or musings.
Born in Gifu, Japan, Ono Gray moved to the United States at age eighteen to study English and to continue her art. She has lived in America for over twenty-three years. She earned her MFA in painting from the University of Houston in 2007. Currently she works as adjunct professor of art and as the Art Gallery Director for the College of the Mainland. Her works are represented by Hooks-Epstein galleries in Houston, and Galeria 910 in Oaxaca, Mexico, and her art has been exhibited both nationally and internationally, including Tokyo.