Edwin Ushiro "Gathering Whispers" @ Giant Robot 2
At "Gathering Whispers", the new show at Giant Robot 2, Edwin Ushiro takes us back to the days of his sun drenched childhood in Wailuku, on Maui. Each piece is a snap shot of the day to day life of kids on the islands, infused with that spark of magic that only exists in childhood memories. The style reminds one of the wonderful Disney film Lilo & Stitch, also set in Hawaii, with its bright but diffused colors and sense of fun. Ushiro perfectly depicts the cultural melting pot that is the Hawaiian islands with his use of Japanese, American, and Native Hawaiian motifs and mythology as well as the racial diversity of his subjects. The process by which Ushiro creates his work is both unique and truly state of the art, he begins by drawing the background of his compositions digitally and then printing them onto sheets of Lucite. He then creates the foreground figures and prints them on the other side, creating a sense of depth similar to an animation cell. Both of these sides are then enhanced with hand painted details by the artist. The feeling that the supernatural exists just beneath the surface of everyday life runs through much of Ushiro's work and the joy of youth is palpable in each and every piece.