The collection explores the transformative power of vision and leadership, the blistering pain of injustice, the uniqueness yet repetitiveness of history, and the sometimes coherent, sometimes conflicting relationship of human nature and civilization. Through a fusion of traditional and modern techniques, the artist explores the interdependencies and contradictions fused into contemporary existence, engages in a dialogue between past and present, and examines the constant rewriting and reinvention of history that shapes the contemporary world. The collection utilizes the following techniques:
- Sumi-e ink painting, an ancient Japanese brush painting technique originally practiced by Zen monks
- “Shattered Mirror” techniques developed by Kataoka, where abstract and geometric realities merge with the artistic reality and the fluid nature of the environment – all appearing in a single plane. This technique is inspired by the increasingly blurred boundary between imagination and action, dreams and experience
- “Magic Box” technique developed by Kataoka, where the artwork cannot be viewed in its entirety at once, but rather only piece by piece through the art’s reflection in mirror fragments, for which the viewer needs to literally peek inside the painting. This technique is designed to match the natural human cognitive process, where knowledge is formed by merging immediate perceptions with recent memories.
Drue Kataoka, a graduate of Stanford University, is a contemporary artist. Born in Tokyo and trained in Sumi-e, her artworks have integrated Asian brush painting techniques with shattered mirrors, time dilation, gunshots, hospital beds, alpine snow water and storms and heartbeat recordings. Kataoka’s commissioned art includes: a painting for the first Zero Gravity art exhibition in space on the International Space Station; an album cover art and jazz portraits for Grammy-award winner Wynton Marsalis; and multiple collaborations with winemakers, including original labels for Jim Clendenen. Her clients range from Fortune 500 CEOs to private individuals and families. She received the Martin Luther King Jr. Research & Education Institute Award for her extensive community service. She established the annual Drue Kataoka Art Scholarship for youth in 2001.