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Simultaneous tension and harmony produced by disparate elements is the unifying thread throughout Ai Yamaguchi's Hana wa no ni aruyouni (Flowers as they are in the field). Hovering between Japanese animation and classical Edo-style painting, the work in the Tokyo-based artist's second exhibition with Roberts & Tilton incorporates site-specific installation and recent paintings. For this exhibition, Yamaguchi has conceptualized the gallery space in terms of traditional Japanese confections where the white gallery walls represent the starchy mochi, and the artworks themselves become the sugary anko of the Japanese sweets served during the tea ceremony. The centerpiece of the exhibition, a barrel-shaped room housing a panoramic mural, represents the bitter green tea, which is intended to strike a distinct yet subtle balance among all the elements within the gallery space. Similarly, the unique mix of Japanese culture in Los Angeles is relayed through a beautifully rich story depicted in Yamaguchi's paintings. The Japanese folk character Otafuku—a rosy cheeked, round faced old woman—serves as a symbolic harbinger of good fortune in Yamaguchi's current narrative. When the young and impressionable girls in Yamaguchi's paintings are introduced to Otafuku and her descriptions of a strange foreign city (Los Angeles), they are filled with longing, desire and fear. The barrel-shaped room aims to encapsulate these intense emotions, fully immersing the viewer in the girls' private fantasy. Only the presence of local flora and fauna serve to pacify the girls' anxieties. Told through an interwoven narrative of folklore and foreign lands, the tale is loosely rooted in the artist's own life experiences.

Ai Yamaguchi

Ai Yamaguchi
Hanasu Koto Wa Kono Yama Hodo, 2008
Mixed Media
87(h) x 93 (diameter) in (221 x 236 cm)

Ai Yamaguchi

Ai Yamaguchi
Hana No Ani, 2008
Acrylic on cotton
21 x 28.4 x 2.6 in (53.3 x 72.1 x 6.6 cm)

Ai Yamaguchi

Ai Yamaguchi
Fuji No Yadori, 2008
Acrylic on cotton
29 x 40.5 x 3.5 in (73 x 103 x 9 cm)

Ai Yamaguchi

Ai Yamaguchi
Ekubo, 2008
Acrylic on canvas, cotton stuffing, and wood panel
19 x 26 x 4.4 in (48.3 x 66.0 x 11.2 cm)

Ai Yamaguchi

Ai Yamaguchi
Nadeshiko, 2008
Acrylic on cotton
9.5 X 17.75 in (24.1 X 45.1 cm.)

Ai Yamaguchi

Ai Yamaguchi
Shiragiku, 2008
Acrylic on cotton
24 x 77 x 4.3 in (62 x 195 x 11 cm

Ai Yamaguchi

Ai Yamaguchi
Tachibana, 2008
Acrylic on cotton
29 x 42 x 4 in (74 x 106 x 10 cm)

Ai Yamaguchi

Ai Yamaguchi
Kamisuzu, 2008
Acrylic on cotton
17 x 20.5 x 3 in (43.2 x 52.1 x 7.6 cm)

Ai Yamaguchi

Ai Yamaguchi
Tamatsubaki (Camellia), 2007
Acrylic on cotton
30.75 x 68 in  (78.1 x 172.7 cm)

Ai Yamaguchi

Ai Yamaguchi
Aoume (Green Plum), 2007
Acrylic on cotton
18.1 x 14.6 inches  (46.0 x 37.1 cm)

Ai Yamaguchi

Ai Yamaguchi
Koringiku, 2008
Acrylic on cotton
22 x 47 x 4 in (55 x 119 x 12 cm)

Ai Yamaguchi

Ai Yamaguchi
Hanasu Koto Wa Kono Yama Hodo, 2008
Digital print and silkscreen on paper
13.4 x 37 in (34 x 94 cm)
1/50

Ai Yamaguchi

Ai Yamaguchi
Akaku Someta Fukai Kokoro (1), 2008
Acrylic on Japanese paper
8.3 x 6 in (21.1 x 15.2 cm)

Ai Yamaguchi

Ai Yamaguchi
Akaku Someta Fukai Kokoro (2), 2008
Acrylic on Japanese paper
8.3 x 6 in (21.1 x 15.2 cm)

Ai Yamaguchi

Ai Yamaguchi
Akaku Someta Fukai Kokoro (3), 2008
Acrylic on Japanese paper
8.3 x 6 in (21.1 x 15.2 cm)

Ai Yamaguchi

Ai Yamaguchi
Iro demo nainoni, 2008
Acrylic on handmade paper
53.5 x 26.4 in (135.9 x 67.1 cm)

Ai Yamaguchi

Ai Yamaguchi
Katakata, 2008
Acrylic on handmade paper
53.5 x 26.4 in (135.9 x 67.1 cm)

Ai Yamaguchi

Ai Yamaguchi
Tsuki, haru, 2008
Acrylic on handmade paper
53.5 x 26.4 in (135.9 x 67.1 cm)

Ai Yamaguchi

Ai Yamaguchi
Yumeyo, 2008
Acrylic on handmade paper
53.5 x 26.4 in (135.9 x 67.1 cm)

Ai Yamaguchi

Ai Yamaguchi
Hanasu Koto Wa Kono Yama Hodo, 2008
Mixed Media
87(h) x 93 (diameter) in (221 x 236 cm)

Ai Yamaguchi

Ai Yamaguchi
Hanasu Koto Wa Kono Yama Hodo, 2008
Mixed Media
87(h) x 93 (diameter) in (221 x 236 cm)

Ai Yamaguchi

Ai Yamaguchi
Hanasu Koto Wa Kono Yama Hodo, 2008
Mixed Media
87(h) x 93 (diameter) in (221 x 236 cm)

Ai Yamaguchi

Ai Yamaguchi
Hanasu Koto Wa Kono Yama Hodo, 2008
Mixed Media
87(h) x 93 (diameter) in (221 x 236 cm)

Ai Yamaguchi

Ai Yamaguchi
Hanasu Koto Wa Kono Yama Hodo, 2008
Mixed Media
87(h) x 93 (diameter) in (221 x 236 cm)

Ai Yamaguchi

Ai Yamaguchi
Hanasu Koto Wa Kono Yama Hodo, 2008
Mixed Media
87(h) x 93 (diameter) in (221 x 236 cm)