Mayuko Ono Gray

My works evolve around my strong interest in the existence of physical body, which I contemplate through art making integrating both Eastern and Western aesthetics and techniques. The works consist of Japanese writings intertwined into one strand, which is a metaphor for life. Working in graphite, I intuitively draw the Japanese calligraphy- stretching, weaving, and changing it- until the composition demands the meticulous solidification of mass, light, and shadow.  I reference Japanese proverbs as well as my own poems, which in their own way resonate to the simplicity and richness of haiku. In each work, hiragana and kanji characters intertwine to create a single line which has only one entrance and one exit on the pictorial plane. The line usually begins at the top right and ends toward the bottom left of the page, following traditional Asian writing.  It is a single line symbolizing a life: one entrance as birth, and one exit as death, representing the two doorways opening and closing our being. Traditional Asian art-forms have often integrated word and image. Contemplatively woven into my calligraphy, I often include images of persons, animals, and still life drawn from my familiar experience. Whether through the literary artifacts of traditional proverbs, or through personal expressions in poetry and pictures, these word-images are reflections on human nature, place, self, ephemerality, permanence, and universal wisdom.  Simply stated, these drawings are expressions of a unique perspective, where East and West combine.