New art exhibition at Lenoir |

Special for the News Herald

The Caldwell Arts Council announces a new exhibit titled “East, West, and Beyond,” featuring acrylic paintings by Keiko Genka of Garner, North Carolina. The exhibition will open on May 6 and will continue until June 24.

Keiko Genka holds a bachelor’s degree in art and design from North Carolina State University. His works have been featured in a number of gallery exhibitions across the state and are included in numerous collections.

Genka described what helps inspire her art.

“To this day, I continue to carry my childhood fantasy. Coming from an Eastern culture, my ideal world existed in books from foreign cities with colorful illustrations,” she said. cheerful and carefully designed architectural landscapes. My admiration for foreign places was so strong that I now live outside of my country, Japan. To the eyes of a child, Japanese culture seemed so dull and colorless. Although I realize maintaining the beauty of simplicity and subtlety in my own culture, i still try to capture the excitement i felt in those western books of my teenage years.

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“When I travel, unknown places remind me that there is something special in every place. Every corner has its own story and reveals the beauty of life and death. Besides my visual attraction to the space, signage also gives me curious insights when planning my paintings.Even commercial and road signs can reveal intriguing aspects of a place.Recently, I have found myself painting increasingly complex compositions. In a way, the visual clutter is very appealing to my consciousness. I see energy flowing through it. Although I myself despise the chaotic life, I believe that my paintings reflect our overloaded contemporary lifestyle.

“It’s ironic that now I’m also inspired by the beauty of Japan, and see my personal culture as a fusion or hybrid of east and west. Since I was born and raised in the east, in Okinawa, Japan, I carry with me the sensibilities and traits of my early years of development from an eastern perspective. I have now lived out west for just over half my life. Although I seek the best of both cultural experiences, I often struggle internally with battles caused by significant differences. Today, cultures are much more homogenized than they were when I was young. I wonder, is this a good transition or are we all losing our uniqueness?

“My view on east and west is that eastern cultures are nurtured or controlled by nature, while western cultures are mainly about controlling nature. Both seem to have certain advantages, as well as disadvantages.To live at peace with myself, with optimism, I need to accept and embrace these differences and celebrate the enriched life as my reward.

“Over the past 30 years, globalization has accelerated exponentially and brought great wealth and abundance to human civilization. Again, I can’t help but wonder if we’re getting closer to a global “value”, and is that value moving towards conformity and a more bland universal society?

“Today, most urban environments look and feel the same no matter where in the world they are. And rarely do we visit a new place that offers almost no style, cuisine and fashion, from all distant and local cultures.

“As I process my thoughts and translate them into my paintings, I ask myself what can I extract from the complexities of our surroundings that present a true sense of harmony in our world? There is a simplicity in the foundations that attract and inspire me, such as color, “architectural” spaces and society’s rich need for communication. With every brand I make, I react to the past (history) and present, as well as to the influence that these two aspects will have on our future. These circumstances, that is to say my Asian origin which led me to live in the West, inspired the title of my exhibition: “East (past), West (present) and beyond (future merger).”

The Caldwell Arts Council is located at 601 College Ave. SW in Lenoir, North Carolina, and is open to the public Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit

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