Through his sculpture and installation work, Japanese artist Kohei Nawa attempts to expose the anxieties of perception and technological progress.
Arario Gallery is currently hosting Japanese contemporary artist Kohei Nawa’s first solo exhibition in Korea, held jointly at their Cheonan and Seoul Cheongdam art spaces. The show, which includes painting, installation and sculpture, runs from 5 September to 4 November 2012.
The exhibition contains works from the artist’s “PixCell” series, as well as his more recent “TRANS” series. In “PixCell”, the artist coats a variety of objects in glass, crystal and urethane, distorting the normal sensory touch points through which the viewer usually understands these objects. By doing this, Nawa hopes to remind the viewers of the ambiguity that underlies their relationship with truth and reality.PixCell-Deer, Nawa’s “most-celebrated work” from his bead series, according to the press release, takes this concept to its extreme by covering a stuffed deer in shimmering glass beads of varying sizes.
The composite of taxidermied animal and crystal beads is like a completely new organism that entirely deconstructs the initial colour, texture and form of the original taxidermied animal and creates a new experience.
The exhibition also includes a number of works from the artist’s recent “TRANS” series, in which Nawa uses cutting-edge 3D scanning technology to capture people or objects. He then uses the digital rendering technique texture mapping to alter the form of these familiar shapes. By juxtaposing organic and artificial forms, Nawa hopes to expose the anxiety that lies underneath bio-technological advances and contemporary social systems.
A massive thirteen by fifteen metre sculpture called Manifold is currently under construction in Japan and it will be installed in the outdoor sculpture park at Arario Gallery Cheonan. The work attempts to evoke “an integration of various cells of information, matter and energy, [in which] each cell pulls on each other, configuring in space as a sculptural work”.
About the artist
Kohei Nawa (b. Osaka, 1975) earned a BA, MA and PhD from the Kyoto City University of Art in Fine Art Scultpture. In 2007, he won the Kyoto Cultural award, and in 2010, his artwork was granted the highest honour at the fourteenth Asian Art Biennale Bangladesh. Apart from holding several solo exhibitions around Asia and Europe, Nawa also participated in the 2010 Busan Biennale. In 2011, he was the first young artist to have a solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo.
- Japanese painter Mitsuhiro Ikeda examines place “where exterior and interior coexist” – picture feast – September 2012 – selection of images from a very architectural Japanese painter
- Mamoru Okumo’s sound art in Hong Kong: Everyday objects become musical instruments – August 2012 – another Japanese artist transforming familiar objects in an exhibition abroad
- Japanese Paramodel artists combine Vietnamese, Japanese toys in new work – March 2012 – picture feast of site-specific cross-cultural installation work from the Japanese duo
- Japanese-Korean artist Lee Ufan gets Guggenheim retrospective – review round-up – July 2011 – a major step onto the international stage for the Japanese-Korean artist
- Japanese sculptor Kohei Nawa speaks on new internet art TV platform Studio Banana – May 2010 – an interview with Nawa that talks about his technological inspirations
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