“The Cosmos as Metaphor”

Dates*: Jul 20 – Sep 1, 2012
Opening reception: Friday, Jul 20, 18:00 – 20:00
*Taka Ishii Gallery Kyoto will be closed from Sunday, August 12 through Monday, August 27 for the summer holidays.
HOTEL ANTEROOM KYOTO will be open throughout the year.


Taka Ishii Gallery Kyoto and HOTEL ANTEROOM KYOTO are pleased to present the exhibition, “The Cosmos as Metaphor” from July 20 to September 1. For the exhibition we invite Reiko Tsubaki (Associate Curator, Mori Art Museum) as a guest curator, and across two venues will feature the work of 12 contemporary artists under the theme, “The Cosmos as Metaphor.”

Exhibited Artists:
[First Venue] Taka Ishii Gallery Kyoto
Yuki Kimura, Nobuko Tsuchiya, Björn Dahlem, Akihisa Hirata, Yukinori Maeda, Yoshitaka Yazu

Hirofumi Isoya, Kazuki Umezawa, Makoto Ofune, Nobuko Tsuchiya, Kohei Nawa, Akira Miyanaga, Yoshitaka Yazu, Kohei Yamashita

Project planning: Reiko Tsubaki (Associate Curator, Mori Art Museum)

[First Venue] Taka Ishii Gallery Kyoto (Contact: Junko Yasumaru)
483 Nishigawa-cho Shimogyo-ku Kyoto #600-8325, Japan
TEL: +81(0)75 353 9807 e-mail: kyoto@takaishiigallery.com
Open: 11:00 – 19:00 Closed on Sunday, Monday and National holiday

[Second Venue] HOTEL ANTEROOM KYOTO (Contact: Masako Ueda)
7 Aketacho Higashi-kujo Minami-ku Kyoto #601-8044, Japan
TEL: +81(0)75-681-5656 e-mail: info@hotel-anteroom.com
Open: 12:00 – 19:00 Open throughout the year

Hirofumi Isoya: Born in Tokyo in 1978. Isoya produces figurative installations that conceptually address the laws of objects and the relations between them, the trajectory of existence, and quotidian narratives. The craters in his exhibited work “Diffused Reflection of Reading” are a device which reflects light in numerous directions to scatter the flow and understanding of time.

Kazuki Umezawa: Born in Saitama in 1985. With an overview of the phenomenon of a character fragmented in the World Wide Web, Umezawa employs chaotic power to express, in a multidimensional and multilayered manner, the indescribable presence of something in the Web and the sense one has when faced with an unfathomable volume of information there. His work has changed since March 11 and in some of the newer works, the ground appears on the screen. He will show one of his latest works in the current exhibition.

Makoto Ofune: Born in Osaka in 1977. Ofune’s works, which are created by applying iwaenogu (pigments made from minerals and plants) on Japanese paper, exist less as paintings than as surfaces on which memory is accumulated through mineral particles, which have existed much longer than humans and weathered the passage of cosmic time. These surfaces become multidimensional spaces for viewers’ projections.

Yuki Kimura: Born in Kyoto in 1971. Kimura’s work addresses and at times reorganizes memories and images, laws of and relations between objects, and the existence of invisible spaces. In the current exhibition, she presents a sculptural piece entitled “eleven” constituted by two found chairs placed next to one another. The piece examines the concept of presence and recognition or memory.

Nobuko Tsuchiya: Born in Yokohama. Using everyday and discarded materials, Tsuchiya makes sculptures and installations with unique titles, stories, and forms suggest the possibility of civilizations and myths that are clearly different from our own or alternate spatial and temporal axes that are hidden in the everyday.

Kohei Nawa: Born in Osaka in 1975. Nawa alternately creates sculptures and spaces that incorporate time and memory and works that coolly express the surface of Internet communication to give visual form to spatiotemporal layers. A work that deviates from the verticality of gravity, “Swell” is made of figures that are spun and covered in foamed polyurethane.

Björn Dahlem: Born in Munich in 1974. Dahlem treats Christianity, alchemy, and astrophysics, researched by NASA and CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research), as if they exist upon the same plane. His works, which range from small sculptures to large-scale installations, represent cosmic phenomena and make their viewers reconsider the relationship between civilization and the cosmos.

Akihisa Hirata: Born in Osaka n 1971. Hirata understands architecture to be an extension of forms created by organisms. He also addresses Leibnizian spaces defined as “the order of coexistence.” “Flame frame,” the form of which was inspired by the structure of amino acids, suggests the possibility of architecture that is freed from vertical gravity.

Yukinori Maeda: Born in Japan in 1971. Maeda appropriates mystical thoughts, such as shamanism and animism, and Rudolf Steiner’s theosophy and filters them through a vocabulary of images based on his personal experiences to create installations comprising sculptural forms, photographs, videos, artificial and natural light, and sound. His works can be understood as attempts to create divine spaces in which light and encounters with light accumulate.

Akira Miyanaga: Born in Hokkaido in 1985. Miyanaga’s videos feature various layers of time, memory, place, and narrative. Time, light, and gravity are distorted in his works. The narratives of his works, which represent a multidimensional time-space and cosmic space, are further edited by the addition of the viewers’ perspectives.

Yoshitaka Yazu: Born in Osaka in 1980. Using various methods, Yazu creates works that address “something that exists but cannot be seen,” which has disappeared from humans’ worldview due to the development of science apart from myth and philosophy. The production of artworks is thus a ritual, similar to prayer and worship, which allows viewers to look into a time-space that exists outside of human awareness, i.e. the cosmos.

Kohei Yamashita: Born in Ibaragi in 1983. Through his works, Yamashita has reexamined the way we understand the world by defining his location based on the perception of distance and measurement on both micro and macro scales. In the past, he has created colorful works based on the theme of crossing frontiers and adventures such as mountain climbing and space travel. More recently, he has produced installations using binoculars.

The exhibition is organized in cooperation with the following galleries.
[First Venue] 
hiromiyoshiiroppongi, SCAI THE BATHHOUSE,
Takuro Someya Contemporary Art / TSCA
[Second Venue] 
AOYAMA|MEGURO, CASHI, Kodama Gallery, neutron, SANDWICH,
SCAI THE BATHHOUSE, Takuro Someya Contemporary Art / TSCA,
(Second Venue Planning Coordination: Takuro Someya, Takuro Someya Contemporary Art / TSCA)

“The Cosmos as Metaphor”
The Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11 and the problems of nuclear power that it exposed have necessitated the redefinition of Japan–particularly in the post World War II period–and a reconsideration of the relation between humans and nature as well as culture and nature. Globally, the contemporary period has been rife with climatic anomalies, environmental issues, energy problems, and wars over religion, politics, and economy, and crises in the financial system and global capitalism. It may thus be time to consider how this planet called Earth should exist within the cosmos, further; to think about the cosmos itself.
Until the first joint U.S.-Soviet space flight of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project in 1975, the booming space program in the postwar period reflected the structure of the Cold War. Even after the Cold War, space programs, despite being conducted purely for research, remain an arena for competition between nation-states. Any consideration in geopolitical terms however, remains tethered to geographical territories and hence fails to provide new perspectives. This exhibition treats the cosmos, not as an object to be developed, as in geopolitics, but rather as a multidimensional space and spatiotemporal entity populated by black holes, explosions of energy, and chaos. In other words, the exhibition examines the “cosmos as metaphor” to neutralize the geopolitical perspective.
The development and widespread adoption of transportation and telecommunication technologies, and the transformation of communication methods in the post 1990 Web-dominated environment in particular, made the identity of the “self” more ubiquitous. It also clearly transformed our understanding and image of the spatiotemporal dimension and, with it, the relation between presence and absence and reality and fiction. Against the Newtonian theory of absolute space, Leibniz defined space as an order of coexistence. Our contemporary existence and conception of space is founded upon a network that could similarly be described as the “order of coexistence” in a sense. The network, which is also a “metaphorical cosmos,” has become closer knit and more developed, chaotic, and fragmented; its saturation has also caused it to explode. In turn, our very existence seems to mirror these characteristics.
The appearance of the World Wide Web has brought multidimensional time-spaces, such as relations, presences, and memories that transgress physical space to the fore. As a result, divine things seem to enter reality more naturally. Cosmic space, a time-space which was previously unapproachable and could only be known through scientific data and images, has become much more accessible, at least in the representational realm.
The current exhibition has been organized under the theme, “the cosmos as metaphor.” Such cosmos include multidimensional and magical time-spaces, untouched civilizations, and other mythologies. Working within this theme, the exhibited artists have examined existing systems and civilizations to propose alternate possibilities and worldviews.

Reiko Tsubaki (Associate Curator, Mori Art Museum)