Identity XV - curated by Meruro Washida -

Identity XV - curated by Meruro Washida -

2019 5.23-6.29

Opening reception: May 23rd (thu) 18:00 – 20:00
*Opening talk (by Meruro Washida): May 23rd (thu.) 19:00 ~ the talk will last around 30 minutes.

©Nozomi Tomoeda
Press Release

Venue: nca | nichido contemporary art
Exhibition Schedule: May 23rd (thu.) – June 29th (sat.)
Opening hours: Tue. ~ Sat. 11:00 – 19:00 (Closed on Sunday, Monday and National holidays)
Participating Artists: James Jack | Hana Sawada | Nozomi Tomoeda
Curator: Meruro Washida
Opening reception: May 23rd (thu) 18:00 – 20:00
*Opening talk (by Meruro Washida): May 23rd (thu.) 19:00 ~ the talk will last around 30 minutes.

nca | nichido contemporary art is pleased to present the exhibition “Identity XV - curated by Meruro Washida –".
Addressing the theme of identity from a new angle and under a different curatorial guidance each time, this year’s edition welcomes Meruro Washida, curator of the upcoming Aichi Triennale 2019, (starting in August), and curator of the Japanese Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale, in 2017.

Identity XV
A few words about the exhibition

Used as the title of this series of exhibitions, the word “identity” indicates the condition of being oneself or itself, and not another, the qualities and beliefs that distinguish or identify a person or thing, yet it also conveys the idea of a close similarity or affinity to something or someone.
Nozomi Tomoeda’s series draws a comparison between pairs of identical objects created by global companies, such as cups, cameras and so forth. Although at first glance the objects seem to be indistinguishable, taking a closer look their labels reveal different countries of origin: “Made in Germany”, “Made in Singapore”, etc. While the work in itself is indeed quite minimal, it extensively investigates modern societies, from questioning the lack of variation among products, to product modularization, production in the context of global value chains, and lifestyle homogenization.
In Hana Sawada’s works, our attention is captured by the appearance of obscure objects found inside pictures of garden lamps from books of modern design. Here it is the stubborn and exhausting research process of these objects’ identity to represent the artwork. Ultimately the objects’ identity remains obscure to us, however, as a consequence, to be exposed instead is people’s desire to look for meaning, continuing to investigate, unable otherwise to find peace.
Born in the U.S., James Jack lived in Japan for many years and is now based in Singapore. The works on view for this exhibition are drawings of South Pacific plants. If we take a good look at history, we can see that many varieties of plants have moved following human migration. The drawings of these “migrated” plants have been realized based on Ryozo Kanehira’s books, a Japanese botanist who, riding the wave of Japan’s imperialist advance in Southeast Asia, conducted studies on these plants and collected samples. In these drawings the identity of the artist himself, who creates his works while moving from place to place, overlaps with the migration history of these plants from a post-colonial perspective.
While using different artistic languages and approaches, with their works these three artists push us to think about the concept of identity in a global information society.

Meruro Washida

Meruro Washida
1973 born in Kyoto. Currently lives in Kanazawa. MA in Art History from Tokyo University. Curator at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa from 1999 to 2018. Curator of the Japanese Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale, in 2017. Curator of the upcoming Aichi Triennale 2019. Artists selection advisory board member of Setouchi Triennale 2019. Academic Committee member of de-Art Center (Beijing). Visiting Professor at Kanazawa College of Art.

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