First Korean solo exhibition for Kohei Nawa at Arario Gallery – picture feast



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.

Kohei Nawa, 'Throne', 2011, mixed media, 300 x 90.5 x 145.3 cm. Photo by Nobutada Omote (SANDWICH GRAPHIC). Image courtesy Arario Gallery.

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.

Kohei Nawa, 'AirCell_A_37mmp', 2011, mixed media, 112.1 x 96.2 x 59.2 cm. Photo by Seiji Toyonaga (SANDWICH GRAPHIC). Image courtesy Arario Gallery.

Kohei Nawa, 'AirCell_A_37mmp', 2011, mixed media, 112.1 x 96.2 x 59.2 cm. Photo by Seiji Toyonaga (SANDWICH GRAPHIC). Image courtesy Arario Gallery.

Detail of Kohei Nawa, 'PixCell - Ram skull', 2011, mixed media, 29.1x81.3x39.3 cm. Photo by Nobutada Omote (SANDWICH GRAPHIC). Image courtesy Arario Gallery.

Detail of Kohei Nawa, 'PixCell - Ram skull', 2011, mixed media, 29.1 x 81.3 x 39.3 cm. Photo by Nobutada Omote (SANDWICH GRAPHIC). Image courtesy Arario Gallery.

Kohei Nawa, 'PixCell - Stool', 2011, mixed media, 64.6x51.3x51.3 cm. Photo by Nobutada Omote (SANDWICH GRAPHIC). Image courtesy Arario Gallery.

Kohei Nawa, 'PixCell - Stool', 2011, mixed media, 64.6 x 51.3 x 51.3 cm. Photo by Nobutada Omote (SANDWICH GRAPHIC). Image courtesy Arario Gallery.

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.

Kohei Nawa, 'PixCell-Double_Deer#6', 2012, mixed media, 229.7 x 190 x 160 cm. Photo by Nobutada Omote (SANDWICH GRAPHIC). Image courtesy Arario Gallery.

Detail of Kohei Nawa, 'PixCell-Double_Deer#6', 2012, mixed media, 229.7 x 190 x 160 cm. Photo by Nobutada Omote (SANDWICH GRAPHIC). Image courtesy Arario Gallery.

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.

Kohei Nawa, 'Trans-Kids (Bump)', 2012, mixed media, 220 × 126.4 × 60.8 cm. Photo by Nobutada Omote (SANDWICH GRAPHIC). Image courtesy Arario Gallery.

Kohei Nawa, 'Stroke-Yana', 2012, mixed media, 195.8 × 66.2 × 72.6 cm. Photo by Nobutada Omote (SANDWICH GRAPHIC). Image courtesy Arario Gallery.

Kohei Nawa, 'Polygon- Double Yana', 2010, mixed media, 400 x 270 x 69 cm. Photo by Nobutada Omote (SANDWICH GRAPHIC). Image courtesy Arario Gallery.

Kohei Nawa, 'Polygon- Double Rio A', 2011, mixed media, 370 x 110 x 189 cm. Photo by Seiji Toyonaga (SANDWICH GRAPHIC). Image courtesy Arario Gallery.

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.

PR/KN/HH

Related Topics: Kohei Nawa, Japanese artists, glass art, art in Korea, picture feasts

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