Wednesday 4 September 2013

SAKI&B 2nd Solo Show 'The Orchid and The White Foxes'

12th September-22nd September 2013
Opening Party: 6pm Thursday 12th Sep

By appointment only...

The Orchid and The White Foxes

A playground for the rich, Yoshiwara was once Tokyo's most infamous red light district - thanks to its ‘Yujos'. Wrapped in skin as soft as silk, these pretty paramours played the role of ‘shy and timid' but unlike their contemporary, the Geisha, they did more than just entertain. Their lives were as shll reigns true.
In a celebration of heritage and the power of a woman's sexuality, ‘The Orchid and The White Foxes,' is an intimate exhibition by Japanese-born, London-based artist, Saki&B. Though keeping with her trademark theme of hourglass harlots and enigmatic erotica, the artist strays from the eponymous bold black lines and solid vivid colours belonging to her hyper-sexualised characters that flit between the walls of London's streets, and that once hung from the walls of her debut show, ‘Tokyo lady Chatterley.' Now with just a pencil in hand, shades of black and white champion an approach that is softer and subtler in tone.
Luckily, her imagery is not! Her ‘bitches' are just as raw and unapologetic as we have come to love, thanks to the audacious nudes - pretty and open for all to see. They have nothing to hide and everything to show yet they are hardly transparent. This was the Edo period, a time when prostitution was plentiful and Japanese courtesans knew tragedy only too well; like picking a plum that's still green, being prematurely plucked from the tree of life - most as young as 21 - made for a wasted youth.
Though transient, these bold, beautiful ladies left a memorable mark on history, with much being said about the esteemed ‘Oirans'. As the most venerable of the concubines, they offered a high intellect and boasted an array of skills, yet it was ultimately their unwavering confidence that afforded them the most coveted of talents - the ability to play and outwit a man; if a ‘suitor' took a room with an Oiran he was under her command.

As sensual as the orchid flower and as fleeting as the cherry blossom, the milky white visage of these young women often displayed the painterly features of a white fox, a spirit animal that many Japanese believe to be a messenger of God. These were the divine protectors that stood guard on one of the four corners of the grandiose walls that contained the silent chaos of the Japanese courtesan of the Yoshiwara Red light district.

Jasmine Phull