Japanese surrealist artist Chie Yoshii creates oil paintings that feature intriguing characters full of incredible detail, softness and shading. Contrasting a mix of techniques and styles, her brushstrokes and the luminosity of her works are reminiscent of traditional Flemish paintings, but there's an unexpected contemporary edge, too.
Much of Yoshii's art is inspired by the relationship between human psychology and mythical archetypes. Her latest series, Myth, is currently on show at LA's Corey Helford Gallery and is inspired by pioneering psychiatrist Carl Jung, who once said: "It is not storms, not thunder and lightning, not rain and cloud that remain as images in the psyche, but the fantasies caused by the effects they arouse".
It's no surprise, then, that we see so much symbolism in her latest paintings. Her fictional subjects stare right back at us, deep into our souls – a Japanese influence often a highlight. Says Yoshii of her work: "When we say, 'That is a myth', we mean that it is not true. However, myth does reveal psychological truth. When we experience events, what remains in the psyche are the fantasies that arise with the emotions they cause. These fantasies become a myth. The reverence we feel when we see the sunrise becomes the myth about the sun god.
"The puzzling feeling we experience when we are faced with tricky questions gives birth to the mythical trickster character. Myth is not about reality but the fantasies aroused by its effects. They are viscerally conceived and more tangible than reality. I have always been interested in what is common in human psychology: patterns, tendencies, and archetypes. Mythological themes inspire me because a myth that stands the test of time shows us a collective psyche that is common among us all. For this show, I created a world with these mythical motifs that make me feel connected, beyond time, culture, and space."
Myth by Chie Yoshii is on show until 9 January 2021 at Corey Helford in downtown Los Angeles. To find out more, visit www.chieyoshii.com.