VPAM at ELAC: Bam!

Sushi first, then VPAM at ELAC:  Bam!  the perfect combination…

A visit to LA’s Little Tokyo can fill your imagination with its elegant Japanese gardens and iconic bento and sushi restaurants.  Hikers who spend time there can’t help but leave with the sensibilities of the traditional Asian landscape.

But with the inexpensive goldline, one can take a short ride on light rail past the murals, grafitti, the cozy homes and small businesses of East LA.  At the end of the line, one can find the Vincent Price Art Museum on the campus of East Los Angeles College, where contemporary art dominates in three stories of galleries.

There two artists, while not specifically referencing Japanese scroll and screen paintings, offered something that felt familiar.  Rob  Sato’s paintings on  long sheets of paper were filled with small human figures, echoing the tiny human figures in Asian landscapes.  (Or maybe they look like Peruvian worry dolls  in the wilderness.)     Linda Arreola’s Halo, referencing western spiritual concepts, resembles a scroll painting in its composition and spatial relationships. Arreola’s disciplined geometric paintings,  minimal but for bright colors,  seem a world apart from traditional Asian artistry.  But Halo had a Japanese feel to it.

Before leaving VPAM, visitors are invited into a tiny house to write postcards to loved ones, or simply to admire the cozy and friendly room in Yoskay Yamamoto’s installation, “Hope it will reach you eventually.”


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