The Shiseido Gallery, which opened its doors in 1919, is said to be the oldest art gallery still operating in Japan. Since then, the gallery has pursued its non-profit activities, closing only occasionally due to earthquakes, war, reconstruction, and other challenges. Dedicated to the ideal of “discovering and creating new ideas” to date, the Shiseido Gallery has hosted over 3,100 exhibitions, many of which served as the public debut for ascending talents who would later make major contributions to the course of Japanese art.
Unreliable Reality – The Where of This World
July 18th - August 22nd, 2014
The Shiseido Gallery is pleased to announce that it will host an exhibition by the artist collective known as “Me” (meaning “eye” in Japanese). Titled “Unreliable Reality – The Where of This World,” this exhibition will run from July 18th (Fri) through August 22nd (Fri), 2014.
Me is an artist collective comprised of Haruka Kojin along with Kenji Minamigawa and Hirofumi Masui, the latter two being members of the “expressive action squad” called “wah document.” Wah document’s main mission is to execute ideas for works of art collected from the public. In 2012, Minamigawa and Masui began taking up such ideas put forth by Haruka Kojin and formed Me. In 2013, they attracted wide attention at Setouchi Triennale with their project called Maze Town?-?Phantasmagoria Alleys, in which they renovated an abandoned house into completely different spaces by placing numerous walls and doors to create an experience of “strange-feeling spaces.” That same autumn, in an external project of the Utsunomiya Museum of Art, the Me joined with local citizens to undertake a project called Day With a Man’s Face Floating in the Sky, which as the name suggests aimed to create a giant sculpture of a man’s face floating in the outside air (this project is still underway). For Arrangement of Conditions exhibition at Mitsubishi-Jisho Artium, they used a variety of devices to change the art gallery into a space reminiscent of a warehouse.
This exhibition will be the Me’s first in Tokyo, and for it they create a new installation work to transform the space of Shiseido Gallery into a distinctive space. Their inspiration comes from a vision that Kojin had as a five year-old girl. As she was rolling on the ground gazing up at the sky during her kindergarten exercise period, she gradually began to feel that she was about to “fall” into the sky, and the feeling grew so strong that she had to look around to see if the other nearby children were still on the ground. “I felt it was really difficult to keep my body stuck to the earth just standing on my two feet, connected to it with nothing but the soles of my shoes.” While we live in a world where we take gravity for granted, at one point or another (usually as children) most of us have probably wondered how we stay attached to the round Earth without falling off. And if we think about how the Earth rotates while also revolving around the sun, it will occur to us also that we are never really in the same location in space for even an instant. Considering our own existence from such perspectives, it does indeed seem quite marvelous that we are able to stay here on this planet without being drawn out into the great expanse of the universe. Nevertheless, we do call this condition our reality.
As an opportunity to turn our attention to that “unreliable reality,” this exhibition will create within the gallery such indoor spaces as we may recognize as having seen before. Even as visitors experience these and layer in their own memories, a certain sculptural contrivance will gradually add an additional sense of strangeness, one likely to be akin to the feeling that Kojin had as that child looking up at the sky. The Shiseido Gallery cordially invites you to visit this imagination-opening, senses-swaying experiential exhibition, as it explores the “where of this world” we live in.
* Exhibition period may be subject to changeGo to Shiseido Gallery Official Website (English)