Ei Ebihara was born in the very year that the US army launched their first attack on the Japanese mainland. Since childhood, she has loved to paint and spent day after day depicting the world around her, her craving never fading, even after inheritance of the family factory left her with little time to create. Never one to hunt for motifs, her works are born from moments of inner inspiration and rendered with a unique sensitivity that overcomes the barriers of trend, time period and gender. We hope you enjoy them.
Acrylic on board
There are moments when something seems to fall directly into the depths of my heart. My objective is to give shape to that “occurrence”, rather than the “thing itself”. The occurrence is not rendered in a concrete form, such as “landscapes”, “still lifes”, or “figures”. Instead, my aim is to mold its shape by focusing my senses. I hope that the forms that result can be enjoyed as unique elements, independent from their color, shape, or lines.
－ Ei Ebihara －
Ei Ebihara was born in Tokyo in 1942 and while still an infant, she moved with her mother to her family’s home in the village of Fussa (now the Tokyo Metropolitan district Fussa-shi), after her father was sent off to war. Growing up amid the abundant nature of the area, Ebihara often spent her days playing with her friends and younger sister, but the majority of her time was devoted to the solitary act of painting, a pastime which soon became second nature.
From her early years, Ebihara was unable to find enjoyment in merely painting according to the instructions of her teachers and was also hesitant about interacting with others through her paintings. She retained this stance even as she began studying at Tama Art University. At a time when art from America was in vogue and her classmates were fascinated by abstract expressionism, she could never give up on the “occurrences” which welled up from inside her and continued to create paintings that were “out of style”.
In 1971, her solo exhibition Murder Scenes drew attention, followed by the Windows on Everyday Life series in 1974 and the Bench series in 1977, both of which received critical acclaim. In addition, her 1969 oil painting March 30, 1969 (in the collection of the Kanda Nissho Memorial Museum of Art) was a major influence on the masterpiece Shitsunai fūkei (Interiors, in the collection of the Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art) by Kanda Nissho (1937-1970).
Just when it seemed that Ebihara’s career was going well, a shift occurred when she inherited management of her family’s small factory. After a period in which her busy lifestyle kept her from her artwork, she became unable to ignore her desire to paint the “moments when something falls directly into her heart” and resumed her practice.
Red peppers was born from her experiences after retiring from factory management and moving to the city of Ito in Shizuoka prefecture. One day, her husband returned from tending to the family garden with a pile of red peppers in his hands. Overwhelmed by the sight of these large peppers, she immediately captured her feelings in paintings with vivid contrast.
14/05/2021(fri) - 10/06/2021(thu)11:00-17:00
※ Open by appointment only.
※ Closed on Sundays and holidays.
Please contact us from here for appointment and any further enquiries.
※ Period of the exhibition has changed from May 7, 2021 - June 3, 2021 due to a state of emergency by the Japanese government amid the Covid-19 outbreak.