Join Toko Hosoya, a second year OCADU Illustration student in this Solo Show at Mark Christopher Gallery in Toronto.
About the artist:
Toko Hosoya is a Japanese-born Canadian illustrator whose youth belies her talent to put on paper her imagined worlds in a technically stunning and rigorously detailed manner. Not to mention her capacity for humor. Toko’s fantastic worlds are as inviting as the things we are told to stay away from as children are alluring. They are curious expanses of wilderness and fun but not without the possibility of hurt, of real danger. Be it the encroachment of a seemingly benevolent mushroom on a human face, or an angry moth man chasing moth children, Toko’s illustrations, some of them as small as 15” x 7”, are like distillations of a well-thumbed childhood favorite. As with such picture books visited years later, Toko’s illustrations make what must have been once obvious obscure and the frightening playful.
About Salt Cure:
Toko works in a variety of different mediums, ranging from sculpture to illustration, using materials such as felt, ink, and truth. Often in her work, a powerful tool of manipulation becomes a site of honesty, where she communicates her innermost thoughts and feelings. A ceramic deity, or a fantastical story become ways through which she can explore truth, and challenge its many perceptions. By fantasizing the mundane, and fusing the past and present with fantastical narratives, the images invite the viewer to consider the extent to which the unreal is woven into their reality. In doing this, Toko hopes to better understand her place in the world and to encourage others to take a look at the absolutes in their lives - with a grain of salt.
Through Salt Cure, I am continuing my examination of the idea that truth and reality are things we choose. It seems to me that facts don’t have much power in the way of beliefs, and the intangible plays a powerful role in the world as we know it. The namesake of the exhibition refers to two things. Consuming salt triggers the release of dopamine in the brain and the addictive, primal satisfaction it brings can be seen as a salt “cure”. On the other hand, curing salts are used in preservation to prevent or slow decomposition by bacteria or fungus. During my period of salt addiction, I was essentially salting and suspending myself in a state of stagnation. Choosing the easier narrative to simply put my mind at rest ultimately resulted in something more like poison than a cure.
Humans are seemingly inclined to see narratives where there are none. Oftentimes, a way for me to feel that I have control over the world is by fitting things into a narrative that’s easier to accept. Humans have been telling the same stories for millennia, perhaps because stories allow people to find patterns where there is chaos. I feel that this dependency on narratives is more pronounced in children. They have the benefit of not knowing what is not possible, so they can live in a more fluid world where the impossible happens. Even in adulthood, this mindset can still manifest in many of the things that we do. While the illustrative scenes seem to be out of a fairytale, a darker undercurrents imply that what was playful in youth can turn much more deadly in adulthood.
via Mark Christopher Gallery