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Diastrophism of Emerging Art ⇆ Diverging New Tales

Dates: 8 March – 11 March 2018

Venue: Tokyo International Forum, Lobby Gallery

Curator: Seiha Kurosawa

Exhibition Designer: Vincent Ruijters
Curatorial Team: Anna Kato, Atsuhiro Miyake

Since the beginning of the 21st century, it has been posited that the geological Holocene era that had continued for more than a hundred million years came to an end in the 1950s, and the new era in which human activity has a significant impact on the Earth, the Anthropocene era, had begun. It indicates that our cultural and social acts are directly linked to this planet as our habitat, and the rapidly drifting contemporary art and its emerging tales are deeply connected to the activity of the Earth itself. 

There is a geological hypothesis that states that approximately two hundred million years ago, a supercontinent called Pangaea existed and separated into the current six continents on the Earth through diastrophism, which is explained by the theory of plate tectonics. Moreover, another hypothesis proposes that all the current existing continents will once again integrate as a single supercontinent in the far future. Similar to this geological movement, numerous human activities also impact and connect while resonating with each other, whereas the clear difference of each uniqueness is revealed in this so-called “global” contemporary world. This exhibition attempts to look at the complex dynamism of the Earth in a way that combines the different levels of vectors—integration and division—through metaphorically using the coined term, “Pangaea Tectonics”.

The formation of Pangaea in this exhibition occurs, for instance, in the sculptures that utilize basalt with materiality that makes a direct association with the natural environment, or the installation expressing modern faith in saints through the use of fluorescent lights, an extremely urban material. These works reflect the current environment of the Earth where natural and artificial environments are colliding, comingling, and transforming. 

At the same time, the various tales underlying human memories of religious culture, folk beliefs, and private experience, diverge into several regions of Pangaea through the works in the exhibition, such as the installation that embodies a contemporary mythical cosmology in which nymphs metamorphose into trees, or the paintings endeavoring to create “New Folktales” while respecting orthodox tradition.

Like the supercontinent “Pangaea”—being formed through the flow of the plates on the Earth—this exhibition enables us to experience the very moment of formation of a new horizon of art. This formation occurs through movement of the geological faults of each artist’s artwork, and through the impact of each originality and commonality. By refocusing on the micro-expressions of each artist who reflects the “now” from a macro viewpoint weaved from geohistory and human history, the complex entwinement of our ordinary acts and the contemporary planet Earth will be revealed to us from a different perspective.


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