Mayuko Ono Gray: 諸行無常_This Too, Shall Pass

August 11, 2022

This event runs from August 11, 2022 to September 24, 2022.

Exhibition will be on display from August 11, 2022 – September 24, 2022.

“Reflecting a life which is both culturally Japanese and American, my graphite drawings hybridize influences from traditional Japanese calligraphy combined with Western drawing practices and aesthetics. Ejected out of Japan at the age of 18 with full of curiosity and no fear, swallowed by America, nearly dead, my works emerge from my experiences of displacement, immigration, deportation, love, trauma, the crush of motherhood, failed relationships and other meaningful encounters with the unknowable. My current works investigate and examine the unknowable through both images and proverbs.

Growing up in Japan, every Saturday afternoon was spent with my Sensei, a calligraphy master who would assign words for each of us to practice. We would spend hours producing copies of the Sensei’s sample. The goal was to imitate the sample, paying attention to the line quality, the varying speed, the pressure and angle of the brush movement. The handling of the brush had to become rhythmic and graceful.

At high school age, in preparation to entrance exam to art university in Japan, I had to take private lessons to learn drawing with graphite and charcoal practicing techniques such as chiaroscuro and sfumato. Saturday afternoons were then spent at a Western style art studio with pedestals, still lifes, and white marble copies of Roman busts instead of tatami mat calligraphy studio sitting on the floor. The fluid ink was replaced with malleable graphite and ephemeral charcoal. The wet immediacy of calligraphic line was replaced with illusionistic volumes meticulously rendered. Instead of going through dozens of rice papers in a session, one sheet of high-quality cotton paper was given to work on. But I never applied to college there.

Traditional Asian art-forms have often integrated word and image, and my interest and practice also follow the path in my unique way. In my current works, I mostly use images of persons, animals, and still lifes captured in my banal daily experiences. A Japanese proverb accompanies each work, spelling out the hiragana and kanji, characters intertwine to create a single line which has only one entrance and one exit. The calligraphic line begins at the top right and ends toward the bottom left of the page, following traditional Asian writing. The single line going through a pictorial plane is a metaphor of a life: one entrance as birth of physical body, and one exit as death and loss of physical body, and all the complicated experiences during existence between these two.”

Galleries are free to view:

Monday – Friday: 10 am – 5 pm
Saturday: 10 am – 3 pm
Closed on Sundays

Upcoming Dates:
  • August 11, 2022
  • August 12, 2022
  • August 13, 2022
  • August 15, 2022
  • August 16, 2022
  • August 17, 2022
  • August 18, 2022
  • August 19, 2022
  • August 20, 2022
  • August 22, 2022
  • August 23, 2022
  • August 24, 2022
  • August 25, 2022
  • August 26, 2022
  • August 27, 2022
  • August 29, 2022
  • August 30, 2022
  • August 31, 2022
  • September 1, 2022
  • September 2, 2022
  • September 3, 2022
  • September 5, 2022
  • September 6, 2022
  • September 7, 2022
  • September 8, 2022
  • September 9, 2022
  • September 10, 2022
  • September 12, 2022
  • September 13, 2022
  • September 14, 2022
  • September 15, 2022
  • September 16, 2022
  • September 17, 2022
  • September 19, 2022
  • September 20, 2022
  • September 21, 2022
  • September 22, 2022
  • September 23, 2022
  • September 24, 2022
More Events at:
Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts
51 Sheboygan St
Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin 54935