TK by Emily Counts at studio e.
"Part and Parcel" by Emily Counts at studio e. JK
Untitled by Ko Kirk Yamahira is right next to the above piece at studio e. An interesting coversation.
"Untitled" by Ko Kirk Yamahira is right next to the above piece at studio e. JK
After more than four months of furloughs, protests, and social distancing, walking into a gallery is a surreal experience. And also totally familiar. I simply scheduled a time to see Seattle-based artists Emily Counts and Ko Kirk Yamahira's joint show at studio e and breezed right on through the front doors. The only major difference was the thin film of sweat over the bottom half of my face I've come to expect when wearing my mask for longer than my quick jaunts to the grocery store.

Counts and Yamahira are both cerebral artists whose work couldn't be further apart in both material and form. Counts creates interesting wall sculptures as well as vessels made of clay, stained glass, mirror, stone, and bronze that resemble parts of a cosmic machine. Her works are warm-toned and often covered in dream-like symbols that, to me, read like a sort of alien language trying to communicate to me. Yamahira, on the other hand, fastidiously unravels and stitches back together the guts of painted canvases, leaving enough intact so their entrails can hang in a beautiful quiet way.

Yet it was only when I saw their pieces together in the flesh—the large majority of which were created since the pandemic started—that I began to recognize and appreciate how their work mirrors each other. Both Counts and Yamahira's work are abstract and emphasize interconnectivity. And in the two pieces above, their similarity is even more apparent in the sine-like way the pieces occupy the gallery wall.

The show is like a conversation between two very different artists who are interested in the same subject, but have refreshingly distinct perspectives. Emily Counts and Ko Kirk Yamahira's show at studio e is up until August 29—don't miss it.

A close up of Yamahiras work.
A close up of Yamahira's work. JK
Another close-up of Counts piece.
Another close-up of Count's piece. JK