Ama by Lauren Brevner
Fine-art Giclée print on French cold-press watercolor paper
24 x 30 Inches
Signed & numbered
Regular edition of 40
Hand-detailed edition of 10
Printed with ♥ by Paragon Press
Please allow 8-10 weeks for delivery
Ama by Lauren Brevner pays homage to the traditional Ama divers of Japan, the last Japanese mermaids facing an uncertain future in today's modern world.
"The Ama-san are the female free divers in Japan, first recorded in the oldest Japanese anthology of poetry, the Man’yoshu. It is a legend, some say, that dates back 3,000 years. The Ama have become victims of commercial fishing, which continues to drastically reduce the available bounty. Government regulations are becoming increasingly restrictive which makes it difficult for the Ama divers to earn their keep and an undesirable career choice to the next generation of Ama.
The high risk of the job and low return makes it a hard sell to a young woman, the result of which is an ever-shrinking population, now at less than 2000. Due to the decline, the Ama-san may one day become lore and disappear into the waves just like the mermaids from our legends. I find the ama to be fascinating, beautiful and almost otherworldly women, which led me to portray them as kimono-clad 人魚 (mermaid). The Ama have a rich culture, one that is slowly fading away.
‘Ama’ is a tribute to their tradition and culture but also as a reminder that overfishing is not only impacting our seas but also affects many cultures whose lives were built around the ocean’s ecosystem."
- Lauren Brevner -
Born and raised in Vancouver, BC, Lauren Brevner grew up in a mixed heritage family rich with culture and inspiration. In 2009, she moved to Osaka, Japan in hopes of reconnecting with her roots. There, Lauren had the honor of apprenticing under renowned artist, Sin Nakayamal. It was through her mentor that she first began her work as an artist. Nakayamal was the inspiration that sparked her journey to self-taught fruition.
The composition of her paintings explores mixed-media through the use of oil, acrylic, and resin. This unique technical style is combined with a collage of Japanese chiyogami, yuzen, and washi paper on wooden panels. Her influence originates from the stylistic elements of traditional Japanese art and culture. She aspires to reinvent the eloquent tradition of using gold and silver leaf in art.
Lauren’s paintings primarily involve the interpretation of female portraiture. She plays with polychromatic layers; the figures within it existing in surreal and isometric spheres. The women embody strength and femininity through somber silence. Their gaze a myriad narrative. Lauren Brevner seeks to create a commentary on the subject of women and their depiction in art throughout the ages. Her portrayal of women serves to empower rather than objectify: a reflection of the vitality of sensuality over sexuality.