Artist Hiroko Otake

Butterfly Tails Vol. 2

Year: 2017
Medium: Color on Japanese paper, silver leaf, rock pigment
Dimensions: 20H x 16W in
Original Artwork Price: $6,500

Butterfly Series

Otake uses traditional Nihonga technique, originated in Japan, to speak on rebirth and regeneration. Currently, Nihonga has not been accepted into the contemporary art scene globally. The artist is constantly in pursuit to create pieces that can preserve Nihonga tradition while penetrating the contemporary art scene and its methodologies. Her dynamic works not only display the transformation and prosperous journey but the path as a pioneer in the usage of Nihonga.

Commonly working with a motif of butterflies and flowers, Otake has stated that she feels similar to these themes in their ability to modify and renew their shapes with the unrestricted chances derived from the ephemeral nature of change. To her, butterflies and flowers are coupled together in never ending instants that are veiled in uncertainty, where every minute of existence is constantly renewed. While painting butterflies and focusing her mind on the literature concerning this particular theme, she has discovered their many symbolic meanings. In her works, the term “Butterfly” is synonymous with “Psyche” (from the Greek word “ψυχή” (psūkē)), meaning “life” in the sense of “breath”, “spirit”, and “soul”, and “ego” in the sense of “conscious personality”. The butterflies in her works are therefore representative of the soul and mind, as well as with beauty, shimmer, and spiritual renaissance.