While Samurai warriors did not make plans for the future, they steadily worked on process, on improvement. Closely associated with cherry blossoms, they also embody that evanescent bloom, as well as the concept of hanakotoba, which, for us, roughly translates into “say it with flowers.” Fumi Nakamura also makes her revelations through flowers in a new solo exhibition, Look Toward the FutureBut Not So Far As to Miss Today, opening March 6th at Thinkspace Projects.

Like the Samurai, Nakamura employs a terrible beauty in her gouache, graphite and colored pencil renderings. Furry animals curl up and caress, their pearly whites sprouting into fangs. Blossoms and leaves tickle in sensuous suffocation, while fragile faces confront skeletal ancestors. The Japanese born artist summons an almost ancestral understanding of detail and nuance paying homage to the floral art of ikebana, where line, form and shape are elevated in her colorful works. Where previous works employed negative space to create a mood, the pieces in her current show swell in an overflow of imagery, as the present reflects on the past and anticipates the future.  

Recently, a blossom tree in front of my house was brazenly pruned, leaving stark, almost starving branches. Then, as if in a whirlwind of time-travel, blossoms burst into dazzling little pink clouds.  Fumi Nakamura captures this magic on canvas, fanning out the grace and elegance of birth and death, urging us to dive in, cherish the changes, and respect the cycle. —Gwynned Vitello

Look Toward the Future
But Not So Far As to Miss Today is on view through March 27, 2021.