THE shape that symbolizes continuance, unending and interminable, is the shape that breathes life into Sophia Chizuco’s artworks. Layers and layers of circles, painstakingly drawn by hand and strategically placed on a white canvas, create an abstraction that exudes spirit using one shape and hues of colors on top of another.
Last July 10, New York-based Japanese artist Sophia Chizuco traveled to the region with Hiraya Gallery to exhibit her artworks in Radisson Blu Cebu. The traveling show entitled Stardust is her first solo show in Cebu. The artwork flew in from Manila after one week in Hiraya Gallery and will be in Cebu until July 30.
“I’d been to Cebu maybe about 20 years ago and we visited Mactan just for the beach with my father. It’s my first time in a long time and I’m very excited,” said Sophia.
Despite comfortably moving within the zone of abstraction, Sophia is fluid in her creations having learned realism in Japan before going through abstraction in New York.
“I’d always wanted to be an abstract painter when I was little but my teacher said you have to learn the basics first. So, at the beginning, I learned how to draw realism. I started with oil paintings because that’s what my private teacher taught me. I learned realism first in Japan and then I still wanted to do abstract. And then I went to New York because in Japan there were not many good abstract painters at that time. So, I went to New York and I met very creative painters,” said Sophia.
Currently, Sophia paints in abstraction but at the same time she has collections of non-abstract paintings which she only draws for fun, for instance, her Froggy series which depicts a painting of a frog doing different things. The character which she fondly calls Froggy is a representation of Sophia’s hate for frogs. She paints it in different perceptions and just plays with the character. Despite their being paintings merely for fun, Hiraya Gallery has sold four of her Froggy paintings.
The artist also exhibits installations and does performing arts in New York and other artworks in different mediums like egg shells. Having been to the region for the first time, Sophia hopes to bring all of these creations to Cebu topping off layers of her spirited works of circles.
Her identity as an artist lies in her inspiration in creating art which is nature and life. She was, as she says, “born and raised in the countryside of Japan surrounded by mountains, green tea fields and the Pacific Ocean.” Moreover, she is the daughter of a microbiologist whose work it is to study and contemplate the cosmos of living organisms.
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on July 18, 2017.
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