Courtesy of Take Ninagawa copy right(c) Misa KAWAI
Misaki Kawai’s second solo exhibition at the gallery, “Homeland 2020.” Based between New York and Osaka, Kawai will be premiering a new, large-scale multimedia installation that includes videos scored with music and audio by the artist and numerous components made from papier-mâché, wood and stitched fabric. The exhibition will be part of the largest presentation of Kawai’s work in Japan since her two-person exhibition “Boro-Boro Doro-Doro” at Tokyo’s Watarium, the Watari Museum of Contemporary Art, in 2006.
Influenced by cheap cast-away goods and the heta-uma aesthetic of Japanese underground manga, Kawai is known for making sculptures depicting space stations, airplanes and cars operated by characters representing her friends and immediate community, as well as for bright-paletted paintings of smiling trees, strawberries and animals.
“Homeland 2020” will comprise a gallery-sized installation of a fragment of planet Earth that exists as an amusement park somewhere in outer space. An ecstatically imaginative landscape, the amusement park features an exploding volcano, the twisting “Cobla Corster” roller coaster, rotating swing sets, a giant octopus, a pair of robot lovers and towering, quasi-architectural figures such as “Kinniku Man,” who holds in perpetuity above his head a psychedelic barbell. Videos installed within the construction will broadcast space TV, a fractured mix of quotidian weather and lifestyle reports hosted by alien puppet figures and fleeting glimpses into the astral landscape stolen from NHK-style educational programming of the recent past.
Intuitively mirroring cultic visions of nirvana that have periodically surfaced throughout history, Kawai’s “Homeland 2020” embraces the grotesque utopias of the present as mankind’s enduring legacy. The obsessive exuberance of the detail, color, patterning, texture and organic form apparent in Kawai’s execution of the work recalls the art of Japanese predecessors such as Atsuko Tanaka and Yayoi Kusama. As was the case for those post-war artists, Kawai’s concatenation of worlds within worlds offers a pin-wheeling vision of a near future unhinged from the gravitational pull of reality.
Concurrent to “Homeland 2020,” Kawai will have a solo show at GALLERY at lammfromm starting September 3. A live performance will be scheduled at HARCOZA in Daikanyama in coordination with these exhibitions. A new artist book published by Nieves (Switzerland) will be available at Take Ninagawa during the course of the exhibition. Kawai’s work is currently included in “Visions of the Future” at the Institut Valancia d’Art Modern, Spain, through November 15 and will be featured in “I BELIEVE—Japanese Contemporary Art” at the Museum of Modern Art, Toyama, from October 10 to November 29, 2009.
* The text provided by Take Ninagawa.