Contemporary Japanese Artist and L.S. Lowry: Distance, Light, and Ideas

Contemporary Japanese Artist and L.S. Lowry: Distance, Light, and Ideas

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Sawako Utsumi hails from northern Japan and she is a contemporary Japanese artist, who equally adores art from the distant past. True to the nature of Utsumi, her art focuses on the rich traditions of old Japan, while focusing on a broad spectrum of European artists. However, when it comes to L.S. Lowry (1887-1976), it is apparent that a different light separates her deep admiration of Lowry.

This light not only applies to color, perspectives, breaking down the barriers of the industrial and working-class landscape that inspired Lowry – but also to a spiritual dimension that relates to cultural norms in her native Japan. Hence, in her latest art piece titled “Lowry in full Japanese bloom,” the houses come alive based on new light. Similarly, individuals in the street setting break the initial impressions of the original.

In a sense, it is easy to overstate the negativity of distant industrial northern England. Equally, in the opposite direction, some individuals can focus on nostalgia related to strong communities, the bedrock of the family, the political non-conformist Christian churches demanding rights, a potent trade union movement tackling the economic and political class, and other areas related to this period of British history.

Hence, the contemporary Japanese artist Utsumi is focusing on individuality, new forces based on the color that will soon emerge, and people content in their natural surroundings. This focus works a treat because old northern England now becomes innovative once more. After all, the Industrial Revolution and modernizing forces came from the same rich history of northern England.

In a past article, I state, “The contrast of the originals by Lowry – to the creativity of Utsumi – creates a natural state of mind that highlights the difference in time and perspectives. In the world of Lowry, you had hard working people battling against the reality of industrialization, pollution, and poverty. However, for Utsumi, while acknowledging that poverty still persists in modern Japan and the United Kingdom; the neon lights of Tokyo to the comforting rural areas of the Sendai region provides hope.”

Overall, the new art piece by Utsumi – who is inspired by the rich artistic legacy of Lowry – is inspirational in relation to the visual reality and the deeper meaning behind her art.


Book Review: Sawako Utsumi and her Kindred Spirit

European and Japanese Art: Buddhism, Christianity, Landscapes, Rinpa, Shintoism, Ukiyo-e, and Dutch Masters – Please click on to order the book. – Sawako Utsumi and where you can buy her art, postcards, bags, and other products. Also, individuals can contact her for individual requests. – Sawako Utsumi personal website

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