Home 9 Exhibition 9 Tokimeku


Exhibition: April 20, 2024 -
May 25, 2024

Artist: Coral Noel Yang

‘Tokimeku’ (ときめく) is a Japanese word that beautifully captures the sensation of a throbbing, fluttering, and palpitating heart—a visceral response to the dance of anticipation. This concept serves as the inspiration for Coral Noel Yang latest collection of expressive abstract works. Influenced by her immersive experience at Tamagawa Hot Spring, a secluded mountain healing site in her mother’s hometown, Akita, Japan, these artworks vividly reflect the essence of her journey, where the heartbeat of nature resonates in captivating visual expressions.

The rich landscape of the hot spring and its surrounding terrain provides bountiful inspiration for visual storytelling. Elements such as the outflowing fountainhead, the luminous vapour, the neon-hued sulphuric fumaroles, the enchanted submerged forest, and the rare Sun Halo phenomena, are all intricately woven into the tapestry of Tokimeku. For Coral, Tokimeku became a compelling artistic exercise, allowing her to distil a personal abstract language from the natural elements of Tamagawa, capturing the emotions and ethos of her pilgrimage. Within each artwork, a palpable curiosity about the fluidity of water, the ascending glow of vapour, and the ethereal atmosphere of the land emerges.

As Coral delves into the memories of her travels, central themes of wonder, awakening, connection, and rebirth crystallise within this collection. A poignant narrative thread weaves through her heartfelt reunion with family after a period of Covid-induced separation, alongside tales of healing and the therapeutic energy found in Tamagawa. Coral’s purpose is to imbue her works with the vitality and sense of belonging she absorbed from this transformative journey.

Coral’s practice involves the application of the soak-stain method on raw canvases—a technique seamlessly blended with her upbringing in the Asian Water-Ink tradition. Breaking constraints by using water and fluid paint, she engages in a delicate dance between intuitive material play and meticulous left-brain design. Enthralled by the challenge of harnessing the unpredictable beauty of fluidity, Coral patiently crafts subtle, luminous, and transparent layers that echo the passage of time and delicate human emotions. Her works come alive with raw water marks, organic shapes, and whimsical brushstrokes, where geometrical elements occasionally serve as a nod to nature, intertwined with emotional elements that add dimensions to her paintings.

Tokimeku unfurls across four subsets: The Submerged Forest, the Sun Halo, the Golden Sulphuric Treasure, and the Colours of Dreams, each presenting its unique narratives, colour palettes, and abstract exploration. This exhibition extends an invitation to the audience to immerse themselves in the intricate layers of emotion—joyful reunions, stories of resilience, and the revitalising embrace of nature, with the hope of evoking a profound sense of wonder and elevation in the viewers.

Coral Noel Yang, an Auckland-based contemporary painter, specializes in abstract and floral art using acrylic, blending Soak-Stain techniques with Asian water-ink traditions. Her vibrant and layered works exude luminous hues and expressive marks, drawing inspiration from Aotearoa’s landscapes and florals, her 15 years of global filmmaking experience, and her Chinese-Japanese heritage. Enthralled by the unpredictable beauty of fluidity, she navigates between intuitive material play and meticulous design, crafting layers adorned with water marks, organic shapes, and whimsical brushstrokes. Her paintings capture nature’s essence intertwined with human emotions, evoking a profound sense of wonder and belonging, resonating both locally and internationally. Since 2021, Coral  has held solo exhibitions in Auckland, notably including Unfurling (2023) and Tokimeku (2024). Additionally, she is invited to showcase her work at both The Auckland Art Show 2024 and Art in the Park 2024. In 2023, she received the John Wells award at the Emerging Artist Awards of Upstail Gallery and was a finalist at Craigs Aspiring Art Prize in 2024.

Instagram link: @coralnoelyangart


Coral Noel Yang, Stardust Rhapsody