Monday, August 23, 2010

Now Showing: Yumi's "Symphony of Light"

"Symphony of Light", by artist YUMI

Hello All,

Yumi returns to Gallery 21, in Spanish Village Art Center located in beautiful Balboa Park, for her annual exhibit. The show runs from August 18 - August 30, 2010, at 1770 Village Place and is open from 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily.

Already familiar with Yumi's beautiful paintings, which consummately reflect an inner part of her being and an eternal spiritual awareness, my attention is drawn immediately by the title of her new exhibit, "Symphony of Light". Taking into account her Japanese heritage and the title of this new show, I assumed there might be some connection between Yumi's new exhibit and a recent showing of the "landscape" kimono of Itchiku Kubota (also entitled "Symphony of Light") at the Timken Gallery and San Diego Museum of Art. Clearly, one should never "assume" anything about "Yumi" for her vision is, uniquely, her own.

Born in Tokyo, Japan, Yumi studied under Ukai Uchiyama, Japan's master watercolorist. While she was a student at KEIO University, Yumi illustrated children's magazines and books. After graduating with a BFA, she studied at the Academy of Arts College in San Francisco, California. Her creative and artistic credits in the U.S. span a period of years from 1985, (when she moved from Holland to San Diego, California), to 2010 and her current exhibit.

Included among these credits are a video, "The Colors of Yumi"; paintings on the cover of SEIKEI KAISHI magazine, (1994-1996); 2005, a Tokyo exhibition, "Light, Tokyo-Holland-San Diego"; awarded the Key to the city of La Mesa for her outstanding teaching contributions; 2006, wrote for ARIKA magazine in Japan; completed Public Art for the City of La Mesa and SDSU Business District; 2009, featured in "Light House magazine, Japan"; 2010, "Symphony of Light" exhibition at Gallery 21.

There, now. That is the expected, the obvious image one might have of Yumi. That is the "Yumi" on paper. What I want to share with you all is the true "essence" of Yumi. That special "something" about her. There is an integral "spiritual" quality that surrounds Yumi. One cannot be long in her presence without sensing it. Her aura exudes it, her smile confirms it and her paintings evoke it. I give to you the word that I think best describes it... "Light".

And so I come to the true nature and impetus behind Yumi's creation. Perhaps, the key to the titling of her latest exhibition is "Light"... Light, actual or subliminal. Light of day or night, light seen or imagined. Light that evokes emotion or the silence of reflection... reflection of the color spectrum or the soul. Light that nurtures and sustains. An awakening to and movement "Toward the Light". This is a recurring theme in all of Yumi's work. Her past three exhibitions have all dealt with this subject matter. "Light", "Night and Day" and "Toward the Light". All of which have brought her to the current exhibit, "Symphony of Light". Of her exhibition, Yumi says, "If you find the LIGHT from my painting to uplift your spirit, I would be happy and content".

I step into Gallery 21 and the sound of a ukulele softly strumming "Somewhere over the Rainbow", by Israel Kamakawiwo greets me. As I move among the paintings, I am made aware of the importance of light in all of Yumi's compositions. Central to the exhibit is her "Symphony of Light", a golden painting depicting a string trio of violin, cello and guitar accompanied by a pianist, and watched over by an angel of Light floating high above them all.

Moving through the exhibit, I am keenly aware of the many ways light plays a part in Yumi's vision. Light as seen in "Morning Light on the Prado", or in "Backstage 2", a lovely painting that captures an actress, beautifully coiffed with her hair piled high on her head, looking out of a window at the street scene below. Similarly intriguing is "Music Break" depicting a guitarist perched on a stool, where rays of warm golden light pour through a window, and an over sized cat lounges in the glow on a window seat. Circling back to the front of the gallery, I encounter a painting entitled, "White Swans". Looking at this mystic swirl of white and yellow light that surrounds three white swans, juxtaposed by aqua and blue-green shadows, I am captured by the movement and luminosity created by Yumi's brushstrokes and minimal use of color.

Yumi says, "The art exhibition, "Symphony of Light" is dedicated to my parents and Zazuko for their Love and Wisdom". Not a surprising sentiment coming from such a rare soul. At one point during my visit, I overheard Yumi explain to another visitor that, "My paintings are like my children...when a customer comes and asks to see my old paintings, I get very emotional". All in all, I would say a visit to "Symphony of Light" is an emotional one. It is a "tale told by a beautiful spirit, full of light and movement".

Standing in front of the painting, "Symphony of Light", one can view a quotation mounted on the wall. It goes, "Like the sound of river, Symphony fills the air with the sound of legato and staccato, blessed by the light of heaven".

I will leave you with those thoughts. (FADE TO: The dark of day as the brilliance of moonlight rises). Ask Yumi. She has a secret of Light to share with you.

"White Swans", by artist YUMI

Yumi Climenson lives in La Mesa, California and is an accomplished oil painter. She may be contacted at or through her website:

Written and posted by Cassandra Shepard, Studio 32
text and content copyrighted 2010, all rights reserved

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