Junko O'Neill Fine Artist
The foundation of my work lies in the fundamental Japanese principle of ‘Ma’. It is a spacio-temporal concept that considers space and voids, either physical or temporal, as having a form of existence. With ‘Ma’, time and space are not separate entities: space is perceived alongside time.
Works associated with the concept of ‘Ma’ are often monochrome, consisting of ample empty space and/or little movement within the work. My work does not have such characteristics. My whole painting surface is covered with colours as well as by brush marks that suggest movement. Instead of painting what is there, I portray what is not there: the atmosphere created by the spacial and temporal intervals within ‘Ma’. Instead of painting a subject matter with a negative space around it, I portray the void itself: the space where time is kept on hold and something is about to happen, carrying tension with an underlying sense of calm.
For a medium, I use ‘Iwaenogu’ (lit. rock paints), Japanese traditional paints made from mineral pigments. Their matt appearance and muted colour palette complement the atmosphere I am seeking. Numerous layers are applied to give the impression of space and time being trapped within the painting.
My work reflects ‘Ma’. It is the expression of the transient nature that space possesses.