Konoike Tomoko : inter-traveller

Journey to the centre of the Earth ~ Konoike Tomoko

There is a curious warning at the entrance to the Tomoko Konoike exhibit at Tokyo Opera City : “This exhibition includes galleries with low entrances, dark spaces, slopes, and works that are designed to stimulate the visitor’s sense of touch and smell including lily. Please inform the reception if you are allergic to animal fur.”

Welcome to a world “where beauty and disgust do not yet exist.”

Tomoko Konoike, 'Hidden Mountain – Fusuma Painting' (detail) (2008)
Japanese ink, acrylic, pencil, kumohada-mashi paper (Japanese paper), shell powder and wood panel(Fusuma). 182.0 x 544.0cm
Collection: Mori Art Museum. Photo: Kei Miyajima
© Tomoko Konoike. Courtesy: Mizuma Art Gallery

The exhibition has been designed to evoke a journey through the earth’s geological strata. As you travel from the crust to the centre, you will reach the earth’s “heart of darkness” – the root of human imagination. Along this journey, you can appreciate Konoike’s works as an imaginative traveller.

The exhibition contains a variety of media. There are paintings – the massive four-part《Story Series》(2004-06); animation 《mimio-Odyssey》; drawings – including original drawing of 《mimio》,《Open Book Series》 and《Book Burning-World of Wonder》; sculptures – 《Virginia》and 《Inter-traveller》; and Fusuma paintings –《Hidden Mountain》and the new work《Shira-Spirit from the Wild》.

”mimio--Odyssey” (2005); DVD, 11’30”, © KONOIKE Tomoko, courtesy: Mizuma Art Gallery

Knifer Life (detail), 2000-01, acrylic, pencil, Japanese ink on canvas and wood panel, 180 x 810 x 5cm©KONOIKE Tomoko, Courtesy: Mizuma Art Gallery

Book Burning- World of Wonder
acrylic, pencil, color pencil, paper
418 x 509 mm
photo by Kei Miyajima
Courtesy the artist and Mizuma Art Gallery

Virginia-Set Me Free, Fly from My Restraint
Mixed Media
2800 x 3700 x 2000 mm
Photo by Atsushi Nakamichi (Nacasa&Partners)
Courtesy the artist and Mizuma Art Gallery

Shira—Spirit from the Wild (detail), 2009, Japanese ink, shell powder, gold leaf on Kumohada-mashi paper, 1.82 x 16.32m ©KONOIKE Tomoko, Courtesy: Mizuma Art Gallery

The climax is “the centre of the earth.” There, you will encounter the new installation《Earth Baby》(09), which invokes both the earth’s rotation and its rebirth.

To counter the sense of hopelessness associated with the present day, KONOIKE invites us to consider the power of art through “play” and its full use of imaginative engagement. KONOIKE here draws upon the Japanese ancient derivation of “play” (asobi) which refers to shamanistic retrieval of the soul of the recently departed. These “players” retrieved souls between dimensions, where the soul was like an “inter-traveller” between the living and the beyond. KONOIKE metaphorically employs this sense of “play” between dimensions to claim art’s ability to release the body’s soul and invoke its interior spirit.

“Don’t sit there gazing at a painting…get outside and feel the wind. Don’t mutter the lines of some old poem, get moving and create some friction. If you don’t keep playing, traveling all around and causing all kinds of friction, until you’re so tired you can’t speak, you’ll never stoke the fires of a robust imagination.”

Source : https://www.operacity.jp/ag/exh108/index_e.html

1 comment:

kage said...

psychedelic mind!!