Join Yukako Sakakura and Clive Christian Perfume on the 13th October 2022 for a discovery of olfactive and fine art.


 This Frieze Week Clive Christian brings you private view of Yukako Sakakura’s masterpiece “You Close Your Eyes To See Our Spring” inspired by Matsukita from the infamous house’s Crown Collection. 

Explore the relationship between fine art and perfumery in an intimate setting as the painting is viewed for the first time in London. Discover this bold and beautiful perfume, initially created in 1892, through the stunning lens of Yukako’s brush strokes. Especially created for the London event and available for a limited time only are 20 individually signed and numbered prints available for sale through Clive Christian alongside the perfume. You will be guided through the sensorial exhibition by both artist and perfume house as we celebrate this fusion of the arts. Join us at Jovoy Mayfair, the home of niche perfumery, and explore this creative collaboration in the company of both artist and perfume house. 

Am I Trying to Be Brave for My Yesterday or Your Tomorrow?
Acrylic on canvas, 2021
145.5 x 112cm

Your Eyes and Heart Can’t Always Speak The Same Language
Acrylic on canvas, 2021
145.5 x 112cm

Singing In Your Woods

‘The sound of the Gion Shōja bells echoes the impermanence of all things; the color of the sāla flowers reveals the truth that the prosperous must decline. The proud do not endure, they are like a dream on a spring night; the mighty fall at last, they are as dust before the wind.’ The Tale of the Heike: The author and the year of creation unknown / Compiled prior to 1330 Chapter 1.1, Helen Craig McCullough’s translation.

These first lines of a Japanese ancient tale have attracted me for a long time, expressing a philosophy that has inspired me throughout my practice. As the natural world shows us different faces in ever changing seasons and time, in Japanese tradition we often liken these changes to the various emotions that we experience during our life journeys. This idea has led me to depict elements from nature in my work, such as storms, winds, plants and flowers – creating nostalgic imaginary landscapes that hint at our emotional complexity and dual nature.

Feelings are transient and hard to pin down – yet, in the series “Singing in Your Woods”, I try to capture one’s feelings as they might exist in a single, timeless moment. Instead of creating direct representations of people with emotional expressions and the sort of twisted bodies that are shown in classic paintings of the Romantic era, I paint individual flowers – flowers that embody solitary human emotions frozen in time, and also, simultaneously, the entirety of a person’s being. From early buds to late blooms, whether crushed or blossoming, I portray these flowers in the same way that I might try to capture the secret, inner world of a person. As hinted at in the title of this series, the landscapes behind the flowers suggest a further story underlying these expressed feelings: the mysterious, elusive complexity of human nature – with its fleeting fragments of consciousness and shifting memory – almost akin to hearing echoes of people singing in the woods, just out of sight.

In the paintings, some flowers stand alone, whilst others blend into the crowd or twine around others. The relationship between each painted flower is in part symbolic of the connection between our sense of self, and the often abstract notion of ‘others’, further exploring the transient nature of human feelings, and our desire to connect with other people.

Each individual flower is buffeted by powerful, external forces – just as we live in the force of our time and constantly feel, judge and compare the climates of opinion, ideology and justice that exist in society at large. These societal climates bring us pleasure and comfort in our lives, but they can also summon intense feelings of pressure or claustrophobia, which our individual natures often rail against.

In my nostalgic, abstract landscapes, I try to capture and crystalize this societal climate through depicting imaginary weather patterns – with external societal forces often depicted in the form of abstract ‘spheres.’ Storms and winds control the movement of these spheres, carrying them like pilot balloons through the sky – and though the spheres have the appearance of fragility in the paintings, they dominate the space and take flowers in their wake without their own control.

Yet in the end, the flowers – and the emotions that they embody – are ‘as dust before the wind,’ and so too the external forces that control and affect them. Each facet of human existence is impermanent, fleeting, and very often beautiful – like a distant, echoing song heard in the woods, or a dream that disappears on a spring night.