An exhibition of edgy Asian inspiration

11-07-2018 by admin

Vibrant and fresh: Expressionist painter Casey Tosh will exhibit his Japan and Hong Kong-inspired pieces at Mitchell Harris Wines as of this Friday. Picture: Kate Healy

WHEN Ballarat artist Casey Tosh wanted to travel, he wanted to do it on wheels.

The expressionist painter and photographer knew that seeing Japan and Hong Kong from a skateboard would give him a unique perspective.

Keeping a detailed note and sketchbook during his journeys, he returned home to Ballarat to transfer the vibrancy and “freshness” of Asia to canvas and plyboard.

Now, his past year of observing the night markets of Hong Kong and the fashion and technology of Japan have culminated in his exhibition to open this Friday night at Mitchell Harris Wines.

Tosh has previously had other success in his street art-inspired field. He painted the laneway, Little Raglan Street, off Webster Street, and has also been working on a series of large-scale projections with fellow artist Pete Field.

The pair is also set to light up Ballarat’s nooks and crannies with a series of projections duringthis year’s Ballarat Laneways Festival.

Tosh said Hong Kong’s colour palette, in cities such as Soho and Kowloon, gave him ample inspiration for his edgy work.

“It’s a very fresh and vibrant scene in Hong Kong. They’re inviting international artists and doing big shows and going out on the bay with big skyscrapers. It’s pretty amazing,” he said.

“(But) it’s still got the old feel of the old town andImperial Hong Kong yesteryear.”

He said visiting Japan, including cities such as Tokyo, Osaka and Hiroshima,also had plenty of inspiration for his art.

“The traditional culture is really amazing –the old temples and the mannerisms of tradition,” he said.

“It’s got that crossweaving of the old and the new –they’re at the forefront of technology and fashion and still embrace their tradition.”

Tosh said he was currently studying a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Federation University, where he is working in his field of expressionist painting in acrylic and oil, and photography.

The pieces in the exhibition feature a range of scenery, temples –and of course, food.

“One of the things that was really great about Japan was the smell and taste of local dishes,” he said.

“Each place has a particular sort of local dish –in Osaka it’s the octopus balls and in Tokyo you’ve got lots of Yakitori grill houses.

“It’s colourful and happening and everyone’s out and about, it doesn’t matter if it’s midnight or 3 o’clock.”

He said the neons of the Hong Kong markets reflected his skateboarding background.

“I’ve had a bit of a skateboarding background so that gave me the colour palette and influence of street styles,” he said.

“The more neon colours are the reflection of Hong Kong and the street lights and the shopfronts. That was refreshing and vibrant with an old town feel.”

Impressions of Japan and Hong Kong will open on May 20 upstairs at Mitchell Harris wine bar,with a launch between 6pm to 9pm.

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