“Far from being labelled as figurative paintings, these thought-provoking pieces may be more accurately described as portraits of space, populated in order to prompt our sense of relationship within it.” - Seline Bullocke, art writer, Arttext
It is said the Japanese see space differently. So how different is it from that of the Western and how is it expressed in art? The work of UK-based artist Junko O’Neill is influenced by the Japanese spacial and temporal concept of ‘Ma’ which can be translated as ‘gap’, ‘space’ or ‘pause’. O’Neill will showcase her new body of work both in abstract and figurative forms in the solo exhibition Interlude.
‘Ma’ is a Japanese way of looking. It gives the intangible positive meaning. Empty space or time is not considered as a separate entity. The void created does not have a negative meaning, instead it suggests pregnant nothingness.
O’Neill says: “What I portray with my work is space, where time is seemingly halted but also where something has just happened or is about to happen. Emptiness is deliberately expressed in order to suggest potential.”