My “Manga Block” drawing installations incorporate blocks of wood whose many sides function loosely as comic frames. Modular in form, they can be arranged and reconfigured in endless combinations. Each new composition yields a unique narrative. The (literally) multifaceted nature of the blocks and the interplay between the individual elements makes for a different visual experience at every angle and vantage point. Thematic motifs include cultural hybridity and confusion, spatial and temporal dis/continuity, intimacy and alienation, language and translation, popular formal tropes in comics, and a strong affinity for the absurd.
Published by yukimaruyama
As the child of a polyglot university professor I grew up in constant flux between six countries and three languages. In my perpetual transition from one culture to another, drawing became a reliable, intimate, and ever evolving mode of perception and communication. This was a personal idiom that could fluidly traverse linguistic and geographic barriers while embracing a diversity of cultural complexities. My favorite sources were those works that emphasized a simplicity and economy of style. Within the most basic shapes and lines lurked a potential for multiple interpretations: A circle was simultaneously an eye, a mouth, a hole, and a protrusion. A triangle was a mountain, a nose, a pizza slice, and a hut. As these forms combined and interacted, they became a playground of shifting meanings. A handful of Japanese classic comics from the 1970's and 1980's especially caught my eye. Also influential were those fantastically absurd animated segments from children’s television shows like Sesame Street and The Electric Company. My drawing practice today continues to favor a minimal, distilled approach to form, with a strong interest in multiple vantage points and viewing experiences. From a relatively direct focus on Japanese Manga (comics) a few years ago, I am increasingly compelled by the larger phenomenon of visual perception and its elasticity. Recent projects have incorporated two- and three-dimensional pictorial spaces, modular components, the effect of binocular rivalry via red-and-cyan anaglyphic glasses, the conflation of negative and positive spaces, drawings on mirrored surfaces, and the use of binoculars as a viewing and framing device. View all posts by yukimaruyama