Mixed-media portrait collection on exhibit from March 30 to
April 28, 2007
TORONTO, March 29 /CNW/ - Japanese artist tomolennon's newest exhibition,
Sleeping Beauty, opens Friday, March 30th, in the Gallery of Toronto's
Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre. Sleeping Beauty is a collection of 15
full-size portraits of women in their most peaceful state - when they are
asleep and in their own dream world.
The sleeping beauties appear as princesses amongst backdrops adorned by
their subconscious delights. Each woman lives in a special dream world that
she distinctively idealizes. A Japanese woman, is in love with Western styles
- Anna Sui, cosmetics, Manolo shoes - in her dream world she wears a
traditional kimono but her boots, make-up and hair are distinctly Western - a
combination we would not see in the real world but exists in her dream.
"Fashion embodies people's feelings as well as their minds," said artist
tomolennon. "People have been expressing themselves consciously and
unconsciously through fashion for centuries and will continue to do so. The
correlation between women and fashion - hairstyle, makeup, and clothes - holds
the key to reflecting their personalities."
Each mixed-media portrait includes fabric from the clothing worn in the
women's dreams. The works are 72 x 48 inches, acrylic on canvas with fabric.
The portraits are displayed with accompanying photographs of the concept work.
Sleeping Beauty curator Christine Seki notes, "tomolennon displays an
inordinate empathy with his subjects, with women... or with a tomolennon
concept of women. And the heightened sense of colour, the perspectives and the
idealization of his subjects are a faint throw-back to the figures of
Utamaro's ukiyo-e. They remind us of the graphic Japanese anime style and yet
they're softer, more fleshed-out, and more capable of entering our fantasies.
They hover in a floating-world between comic books and painting. There is a
Peter Pan whimsicality about tomolennon's vision that gives his work
The portraits are named for the individual sleeping beauty. In Sleeping
Stasi, the portrait of DJ Stasi displays her love of the night, when she
performs for her fans. Night time is her world. She dreams that she awakes at
midnight and is a black cat viewing the world through its wide night eyes. As
a princess of the dark she collects black butterflies which only fly at night
and in her dream world. To view the Sleeping Beauty collection go to
The artistic process: tomolennon created works of the women sleeping and
their dreams with the help of accomplished fashion industry artists including
photographers, makeup artists hairstylists and fashion designers. The team
created scenes in which the women are asleep, elegantly nestled within a web
of their dreams.
tomolennon then transformed the dreamer's imaginary worlds into a
life-sized paintings. Two diverse forms co-exist: photos depicting the real
world and paintings portraying the imagination. Finally to convey that the
dream world is not simply the imagination but is real, dresses were hand sewn
onto the canvases. The dresses are a means of combining the imaginary with
Seki continues, "tomolennon's women are the dream objects of adolescent
boys. They're sophisticated, prescriptively pretty, and almost as
prescriptively, distant. Their unattainability is perhaps their lure."
Artist's background: tomolennon was born in Hokkaido Japan and has lived
in Toronto for eight years. His career has been one of extraordinary success -
and this is just the beginning. Already a winner of countless awards and
honours, he is quickly establishing an international reputation for creativity
and innovative artwork.
The Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre is one of the largest Japanese
cultural centres in the world outside Japan. It was founded in 1963 and
continues to pursue its mission of promoting Japanese culture and Japanese
Canadian heritage to all Canadians.
The free exhibition is open daily from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. from
March 30 to April 28, 2007, in the Gallery at the Japanese Canadian Cultural
Centre, 6 Garamond Court, Toronto. For further information on the Japanese
Canadian Cultural Centre, classes at the centre and the Sleeping Beauty
Exhibition, call 416 441 2345, or visit our website at www.jccc.on.ca.
March 29 opening reception photos and exhibition photo available on web
For further information:
For further information: Victoria Ollers, (416) 822-2288