Issue #01|Cerith Wyn Evans|Spatial Intervention

Taka Ishii Gallery(TIG) —— In your “Spatial Intervention” series you employ photographs that illustrate the works of Isamu Noguchi, Ken Domon and Sofu Teshigahara. What is it that attracts you to these figures?

Cerith Wyn Evans(CWE) —— The ‘trinity’ of these three figures and the collaborations across media that they occasion, here come to resemble for me a trajectory – like a thread leading from space to place through time... Transference, Composition, Sculpture, Photography, Syntax, Ikebana, Presence, Framing, Temporality, Architecture, Volume, Voids, Documentation, Books and Shade, Printing and Light – in which discourses articulate expansive fields. Fields promoting an occasion to pause and consider, to reflect on these relations and delight in their reverberations. They have each – in a sense – introduced me to correlations, rewarding to occupy.

TIG —— As can be observed in the relationship between the photograph, the paper on which it is printed, and the circular ‘windows,’ it seems that what lies at the heart of your work is an attempt to mediate between various symbols and concepts, as well as an intention to visualize their relationship. Why is this?

CWE —— In some parts these ‘windows’ or apertures serve to ‘interrogate’ the ‘condition of illusion’ – to foreground the materiality of the image. To ‘ventilate’ the picture plane... leading to a ‘view’ onto, say, the wall. To engage an oscillation between ‘figure’ and ‘ground,’ and somehow beyond. Something occluded, something revealed, somehow a violation or/and a liberation. A framing device, cutting into nothing. A play on the optics of lenses (an invocation), an exorcism. An interval. Picture as border and shallow plane. A receptacle for shade, perhaps even ‘in praise of....’ An emptying, an orientation, a permeable membrane, a threshold, yet like a pinhole, or a keyhole, or peephole.

Photo: Kenji Takahashi

TIG —— Throughout your practice you have produced numerous installation and three-dimensional works. Why is it that in recent years you have started to engage in creating two-dimensional works?

CWE —— If there appears to be a dwelling on, in, and through flat planes, it feels somehow involved with interrogating the screen... The planes of immanence. In my imagination I find myself yearning, striving for the dissolution of distinctions between dimensional registers and prefer to evoke the possibility of engaging on multiple planes and dimensions, summoning the projection as far as the eye allows ‘and then some...’.

TIG —— In your works you often seem to depict in poetic ways that which lies beyond understanding, such as heterogeneity, incomprehension, and elements of mystery. Is this something that is related to your aesthetics?

CWE —— (Sight, Site, Cite) a ‘convolution’ or in a word ‘YES’!

Photo: Kenji Takahashi


“Spatial Intervention” is a series that Wyn Evans has been producing since 2015. The works in the series use images culled from books on the works of Isamu Noguchi, Donald Keene, and Sofu Teshigahara, who founded the Sogetsu school of flower arrangement and pioneered postwar flower arrangement in Japan. Each piece in the series is punctured with a circular hole. The photograph taken from Teshigahara’s Watashi no hana [My Flower] (1966) was shot by his friend Ken Domon, who promoted realism in the postwar Japanese photography scene. Wyn Evans has frequently spoken about his attraction to traditional Japanese culture, and Noh theater, developed in the 14th century, in particular. In 2018, he staged an exhibition in Isamu Noguchi’s stone garden “Heaven”, located inside Sogetsu Hall, and was shocked by the garden and taken by the Sogetsu school of flower arrangement upon his visit. The simple act of opening a window into photographs visualizes the reciprocity and circuit of energy that exists between the image and its support. Through his practice, Wyn Evans aims to layer the visible and invisible, allowing them to meditate upon each other, and create a dream zone.

In his works, Cerith Wyn Evans makes numerous visual, aural, and conceptual citations. These references, which include many statements made in reference to art, cinema, theater, poetry, philosophy, history, astronomy, and physics, complexly cross and overlap. Using installations that combine multiple media with refined aesthetics as catalysts for reexamining, translating, transposing, and decontextualizing meanings produced through existent contexts and histories, Wyn Evans pushes the boundaries of knowledge that are hidden between the material and immaterial and poses questions regarding our cognitive capacity and its definition.


Wyn Evans’ first solo exhibition at a Japanese museum will be held at the Pola Museum of Art. The exhibit will provide an overview of the artist’s practice and feature his well-known neon works as well as sound pieces using directional speakers, and the “Spatial Intervention” series.

Cerith Wyn Evans
Originally scheduled for April 23 (Thu)–November 3 (Tue) (National Holiday)
Pola Museum of Art

Exhibition postponed due to the spread of COVID-19 and opened on June 7, after the end of the National State of Emergency.“Monet and Matisse: Visions of the Ideal”, held concurrently, opened on June 1.

Photo: Ken Kato. Installation view: Pola Museum of Art, Hakone, Japan, 2020.


Cerith Wyn Evans
Cerith Wyn Evans was born in 1958 in Llanelli, Wales, and currently lives and works in London. His major solo exhibitions include Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan (2019), the Museo Tamayo, Mexico City (2018), the Tate Britain Commission, London and Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich (both 2017); Museion Bolzano, Italy (2015); Serpentine Sackler Gallery, London (2014); Kunsthall Bergen, Norway (2011); Casa Luis Barragán, Mexico City (2010); The Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León (2008) and Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris (2006). Wyn Evans has participated in numerous international group exhibitions including Skulptur Projekte Münster, Germany and the 57th Venice Biennale (both 2017); Moscow Biennial (2011); Aichi Triennale, Nagoya (2010); Yokohama Triennale (2008); Istanbul Biennial (2005); and represented Wales at the 50th Venice Biennale (2003).

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