Identity X -fusion of memory ~ memory for the future-

Identity X -fusion of memory ~ memory for the future-

2014 5.23 - 6.21

Opening reception:
5.23 Fri. 18:00 - 20:00

Artists: Yuki Iiyama / Akira Ishiguro / Yoichi Kamimura / Keita Sagaki / Goro Murayama

Press Release

place:nca | nichido contemporary art
date:May 23rd (Fri.) - June 21st (Sat.) 2014
opening hours:Tue – Sat 11:00 – 19:00 (Closed on Sun, Mon and national holidays)
opening reception:23rd May 2014. 18:00 – 20:00
Artists: Yuki Iiyama | Akira Ishiguro | Yoichi Kamimura | Keita Sagaki | Goro Murayama

nca | nichido contemporary art is delighted announce its tenth group exhibition entitled “Identity X”.
In this exhibition series, we have so far asked museum and independent curators to organize shows on the theme of “identity.” Reaching a milestone with the tenth exhibition in the series, we have invited Kazuaki Watanabe to curate the show in order to introduce the point of view of “collectors,” who build their collections by selecting and purchasing works, becoming themselves curators that influence the international art scene.
Watanabe operates a noodle company in Koriyama city, Fukushima prefecture, working as a comprehensive coordinator for restaurants, selecting everything from their concepts, taste, and interior design, and producing more than 200 types of raw Chinese noodles in accordance with the demands of customers. He regards contemporary art as the source of his creative ideas, and has been continuously collecting works by artists from all over the world for over thirty years, and has also been providing support and at times giving advice to young artists as a collector.
Having been stricken by the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, he built and opened the private viewing room Space W that simultaneously acts as storage space and exhibition space. Selecting and exhibiting works from his collection based on the theme of “regeneration | restructure,” Space W bespeaks of Watanabe’s strong will and feeling.
In this exhibition, Watanabe will create a pavilion of Space W in the rooms of nca | nichido contemporary art.
Identity X—fusion of memory, memory for the future
“Who am I?” This is the ultimate question in the spiritual world. I had a guarded reaction when I was invited to be guest curator, but this question that has been discussed from ancient times has such as a wide scope that no answer could be wrong. I thus decided to accept and to have a little freedom in how I would curate the show. Let us then shift the viewpoint to interpret the question as “what am I made of?” and to attempt a reconstruction from the notion that “I am made of memories.”
The self consists of disparate memories, from those of the personal past including experiences and information heard, learned and researched, to those of the DNA that has been passed on. Three years have passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake but no one in this country, be it a politician, a businessman, or an academic, can escape from the dark memories of the quake and the tsunami that encompasses the fearful experiences and their images, the nuclear accident and the terror of the radioactivity, and the endless sufferance related to the aftermath of the incident. Now that the dark memory has become a constituent part of the artists’ selves, we have to create a new memory that synthesizes disparate memories by repeating research and re-evaluation, thoughts of destruction and regeneration. I hope visitors will be able to find, in the spaces where the different memories presented by the five artists influence each other and merge, a fragment of a positive and bright future.
Yuki Iiyama focused on the painting Sea that is regarded as the point of departure of surrealist painting in Japan, and on its creator, the artist Harue Koga. Painted after the Kanto Great Earthquake, the contrast between men and man-made objects, as well as the large seascape and the grotesque structures inevitably remind us of the recent nuclear accident. However, Iiyama succeeds in providing us, who similarly live in post-disaster times, with a new image through her original point of view and research regarding this painting and its artist. The fake limestone produced by Akira Ishiguro who almost fanatically worked on the details summons ancient memories, allowing them to develop into memories of repeated birth and death, to finally bring a “room of regeneration” into existence. Yoichi Kamimura was prompted by the disaster to create a work of destruction which is simultaneously a requiem, by breaking Eric Satie’s musical composition Gymnopedie into small fragments and combining them so that the resulting sound would assail the ears while the fragmented score floats in mid-air as a mobile. For this exhibition, he presents a work that uses sampling of natural sounds and new musical scores to sprinkle luminous pieces of sounds and music within the quietly resounding soundscape and the fluctuations of the mobile.
Keita Sagaki believes that the folk stories and mythologies that have been passed on in a place are symbolic of the people who live there, and that the identity of a community is nothing but the aggregation of such stories. Depicting folklore in Fukushima in the form of 125 characters, Sagaki makes them a symbol of regeneration, allowing the collective memories to start walking towards the future. Goro Murayama produces works based on the concept of autopoiesis, which came to be in the struggle to get closer to the essence of “life-systems.” The self is a dynamic state, and its memories too constantly change. Can a scene, where a destroyed environment and damaged body and soul are regenerated, be created through the repeated action of “weaving threads, creating a base, painting, and looking”? This intellectual challenge is highly interesting.
Kazuaki Watanabe

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