Devan Shimoyama: A Counterfeit Gift Wrapped in Fire

Opening: Friday, Apr 8, 2022 5 – 8 pm
Friday, Apr 8 – Jun 11, 2022

219 N. Elizabeth St.
Chicago, IL 60607

Also open as part of EXPO CHICAGO's Art After Hours

Kavi Gupta proudly presents A Counterfeit Gift Wrapped in Fire, a solo exhibition of new works by acclaimed visual artist Devan Shimoyama. The exhibition follows Shimoyama’s debut European solo museum exhibition, All the Rage, at Kunstpalais, Erlangen, Germany, and coincides with his ongoing monumental installation The Grove at the Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building in Washington, DC. 

Shimoyama’s visually scintillating artworks stop people in their tracks. Viewers easily enchanted by beautiful things might get lost in the shimmering artistry of Shimoyama’s expertly crafted cosmetic veils. Those whose eyes and minds travel beyond the surface subterfuge of glitter, flowers, and jewels gain precious entry into a complex world of mystery, introspection, rhapsody, and desire. 

The paintings and sculptures in A Counterfeit Gift Wrapped in Fire examine cultural representations related to transformation. The result of a long period of self-reflection for Shimoyama, the work materially alludes to an internal dialog he has been wrangling with concerning the difference between superficial and true change—a discrepancy noticeable at all levels, from the societal, to individual interactions in which we perform social niceties for each other rather than admit the truth about how we are doing. 

“We have this desire to present outwardly as contained and keeping it together,” Shimoyama says. “We think it’s a gift to say, ‘I’m fine.’ There’s a mimicry of something really desired, but it’s fake. There’s a danger to that kind of thing.” 

Many works in the exhibition reference tarot cards, which for Shimoyama relate to how mysticisms can help people adapt to difficult or tumultuous times.