The young Japanese artist Harumo Sato, who relocated to Buffalo from her native Tokyo in 2013 to attend the University at Buffalo’s art program, will have her first local solo exhibition in Western New York Book Arts Center (468 Washington St.) on March 25. The show, called “Mogu Mogu ~ Munch Munch,” will feature screen prints and large-scale stickers that explore Japanese mythology and the culture of food and consumption.
“In this exhibition, Sato asks the audience to rediscover their essential relationship with food,” a release from WNYBAC reads. “Throughout the exhibit Sato references Japanese mythology about the harvest goddess who kindly serves food that magically comes from all orifices.”
Sato’s work is based in part on the story of the Japanese goddess Ogetsuhime, and deals with the difference between ancient and modern food cultivation and production with an eye toward influencing the way we think about food in our culture.
Her own story is also of note: According to a testimonial by retired UB art professor Kathleen C. Howell, Sato’s left arm became paralyzed in 2011, after which she took up art under the tutelage of a teacher who had suffered a stroke and had rehabilitated himself through art. Later that year, the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami struck her region of Japan, which spurred her to continue her art-making practice. After moving to New York City at the urging of her art instructor, Sato Googled American art schools and found her way into UB’s art program, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in art.
The WNYBAC exhibition opens with a reception at 6 p.m. March 25 and runs through April 29. Call 348-1430 or visit wnybookarts.org.
– Colin Dabkowski