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Yuki Hayashi’s Botanical Images from Paraguay

SNA (Asunción) — Yuki Hayashi paints flowers and branches, or plants as she likes to call them. She does not individualize these flowers; she does not feel a special attachment to any of the varieties that we, as her audience, can easily recognize on her paintings.

Her challenge as an artist lies in the focus needed to draw every single line in order to capture each shape with skill and concentration. Thus, it could be said that for Hayashi, drawing can be considered a form of meditation.

Hayashi recognizes that her art studies in Japan did influence her outlook and techniques, teaching her to appreciate the empty spaces, the transparency of the unpainted areas, and the silence of the composition. All these characteristics give a stronger visual impact to her work.

Hayashi was born and raised in Paraguay, an exuberantly green country with an abundance of trees, flowers, plants, and a wealth of medicinal herbs. This environment has influenced her sensibility as well as her sense of aesthetics, while her Japanese heritage shows in a certain emotional detachment from her chosen subjects as well as in her practical approach to drawing.

As foremost art critic Ticio Escobar has said, “The contemporaneity of Yuki’s works shows in her re-consideration of the manner of seeing the linkage between the form and the matter, the importance of details, and its outreach beyond the scope of the painting itself.”

For Hayashi, perhaps, plants are an essential part of her narrative as a Paraguayan national; they represent a sense of belonging which does not betray her Japanese ancestry.

In her works we can appreciate a harmonious fusion of the two cultures, Paraguayan and Japanese, which imply the complexities of life itself as evidenced by the intricacies and splendor of foliage.

Basic Interview Transcript

Astrid Walmer: We are here in Paraguay. This is Asunción and this is one of the most interesting and well-known galleries. It’s called Fabrica, or Factory, and we have here Yuki Hayashi. She is a Paraguayan-Japanese artist. She’s going to show us and explain to us a little bit. She will do it in Japanese for our viewers in Tokyo. Yuki could you explain to us about Fabrica and yourself?

Yuki Hayashi: Since 2007, I have a yearly exhibit here, usually each October. The gallery owner is an artist, Osvaldo Salerno, and that gives me more freedom to paint what I really want to without feeling restricted by the need to sell. I enjoy creating my works for this gallery. Fabrica has monthly exhibits by various artists. Here, at Fabrica, we find unique paintings and objects by some very good Paraguayan artists such as Ricardo Migliorisi that are hard to come across in other galleries. Or you may find works by some artists but slightly less original. Here you can find many of my paintings from last year. But, these works here are from my exhibit that took place on October 2018.

Astrid Walmer: Are these your recent works?

Yuki Hayashi: The subject for my 2018 works is wild flowers, dandelions and medicinal herbs that one can find everywhere around Paraguay. Here you see another type of wild herbs called cepacaballo that grow wildly and abundantly. I often paint this plant. In this occasion I blended it with the dandelions to create a contrast.

Astrid Walmer: What medium do you use for your paintings?

Yuki Hayashi: When it comes to technique my preferred medium is oil painting.

Astrid Walmer: Tampopo, dandelion, is a rather loved wild flower in Japan?

Yuki Hayashi: Yes, Paraguayan dandelions and the Japanese variety are slightly different.

Astrid Walmer: Up there we see a painting that uses Nihonga like techniques?

Yuki Hayashi: Yes, I learned the Nihonga style while I was studying at Tsukuba University. It inspired me to do this composition.

Astrid Walmer: Is your work well accepted in Paraguay?

Yuki Hayashi: My paintings are rather different, but, yes, they are well liked.

Astrid Walmer: How about sales?

Yuki Hayashi: Well, I don’t sell all that much… but reasonably well.

Astrid Walmer: These works are beautiful and refreshing. Surely they could become popular in Japan. They seem to match the Japanese sensibility. Would you like to have a show in Japan?

Yuki Hayashi: Yes, but it takes time and money to have an exhibition in Japan. So for now I’m glad to be here and to produce my works for the Paraguayan audience.

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