Edinburgh Fringe 2023
Colorhythm Risa uses her hands, sponges, sometimes her entire body, to apply colour across the canvas from end-to-end. Her physical and facial expressions of various human emotions and feelings add further layers of depth to her performances. Fusing art and entertainment, Risa draws a story while changing the picture on a large canvas. Through her works, Risa wants to connect people and societies, and to make art more accessible to the world while expanding its potential to be more fun and more familiar.
A very large white canvas is placed centre stage ready for Colorythm Risa from Japan. When she arrives she graciously greets us and turns towards her canvas and begins. She is a movement artist who also paints and she has combined these skills into a forty-minute show. Music starts and Risa picks up her first colour paint, then she presses it onto the canvas with her hands. Next, she adds another colour and uses her fingers to mix and elongate the curvy lines she makes on the white canvas background.
Risa is wearing a stylish body fitting long dress covered in multicoloured spatters of paint, which flows as she moves around the stage space and in front of her wide canvas. At first the music is zippy and fun, and this inspires Risa to begin her painting. The image is based on a meaningful Japanese theme, so there is a direction, but the painting is improvised. Smerging the paints across the canvas with other tools such as large pieces of foam the painting grows before our eyes.
Every few minutes the painting changes, it’s certainly modern and abstract and a figure appears then a background, then the figure changes again, it’s a continuous forty minute creative dance. Using no words at all, Risa expresses through her art form. Occasionally she pauses and looks at us or contemplates emotively before picking up the paint again. Sometimes she moves actively across the canvas painting each side but always with interesting fully extended graceful movement.
Lighting and the music dynamic change the mood and provide Risa with inspiration and transitions. A sequence with drums is more strident and so is her painting, and a few times she has two containers of paint and squeezes them at the same time to add variety to the painting technique. This is both relaxing and intriguing to watch and of course we anticipate the end product of the finished painting at the end. We are generously invited to take photos at any time during the performance or at the end with the painting and Risa.
Risa relates to the audience several times during the show with facial expressions that involve us in the creative process, which is comforting. Her work was very well received by the audience at the show I attended. Risa is a movement artist and in this case an abstract painter as well as performer. The combination of these two art forms is unusual yet they complement each other. Risa’s aim is to bring people together through her art but she is also passionate about encouraging people in different cultures to be expressive. Art, drawing and painting are skills and techniques to learn, and then for us to apply to express ourselves with no right or wrong. Perhaps after seeing this show some of us may pick up a paint brush or pencil and create our own art.