9.6.19 – 10.18.19

Opening Friday, September 6th, 2019, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM.

This exhibition will feature works that examine the refugee crisis in Greece, experienced firsthand by Yoshimoto when he volunteered at a refugee camp. The exhibit consists of wood reliefs, paintings, and an interactive exhibit with sculptural work, recordings, and generated instructions.


Artist Statement:  

My work takes on the ephemerality of news and information and how the emotions we bring to each tragedy in the news cycle are swept away by the wave of information that floods the media. I address this social amnesia through my art with the work acting as a social memory for tragic events so quickly forgotten in our information age.

I have researched my current topic of humanitarian crises by employing images of contemporary disasters. As a way to attain better personal understanding, I have volunteered to help with earthquake relief in both Japan and Nepal, as well as with the refugee crisis in Greece to gather first-hand, on the ground stories so that the audience can begin to understand the difficulties from around the globe that still challenges us today. The stories I gather are then used to construct my compositions, which is then completed as paintings on paper, or drawn digitally to create laser carved, and hand-built wood relief block sculptures.

This practice ultimately represent my belief that art should be accessible to its viewers through humanist tales of struggle and survival as played out in the prevalent social amnesia of the information age, and to inspire empathy and action in my audience.


Artist Profile:

Jave Gakumei Yoshimoto is an artist and educator of multi-cultural background. He was born in Japan to Chinese parents and immigrated to California at a young age.   Yoshimoto has since traveled and lived in various states, which influenced his artistic practice.  He believes in creating art works that are socially conscious and true to his authentic self.

Yoshimoto has received his Bachelor’s of Art from University of California Santa Barbara in Studio Art, his Post-baccalaureate Certificate in Painting and Drawing and Masters of Art in Art Therapy at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and his Masters of Fine Arts in Painting at Syracuse University.

He is a recipient of the 2015 Joan Mitchell Foundation’s Painter’s and Sculptor’s grant, which he used to travel to Nepal and Lesvos Island in Greece to research on the topics on human crisis, survival and resilience.  Yoshimoto has been an artist-in-residence in various residencies across the United States, including his recent completion of 2 years at Tulsa Artist Fellowship, and he will attend the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans in the summer of 2019.  He has been featured in numerous publications such as Huffington Post, Chicago Tribune, Prairie Schooner, New American Paintings, Guernica Magazine, among others. He received a letter of recognition from the United Nations, and exhibited his works nationally and internationally.  Yoshimoto has been in solo exhibitions in New York, California, Illinois, Alabama, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Oregon, Washington, Texas, Ohio, Colorado, Tennessee and Wyoming.

Yoshimoto is currently a foundations coordinator at University of Nebraska at Omaha.