Page 1

Srp

12

MARLIN AND REGINA MILLER GALLERY

OniSHi YASUAKi REVERSE OF VOLUME

residencY

January 9 – 25, 2012 eXhibition January 26 – March 12, 2012


ARTIST IN RESIDENCE

OniSHi YASUAKi rEVErSE OF VOlUME

rESiDEnCY

January 9 – 25, 2012 ExHiBiTiOn

January 26 – March 12, 2012

K U T Z TO W n U n i V E r S i T Y


A RT IST I N R ESI DENCE  4


A RT IST I N R ESI DENCE  5

About th e A rt ist in Resid enc e progr a m

Every year The Marlin and Regina Miller Art Gallery at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania requests proposals from artists, craftspersons, and designers for the production of an original, temporary, site-specific installation for our exhibition space. The selected artist (or artist team) will be awarded $7,500. The installations will be on view during the beginning of every spring semester. Proposed artwork can be realized in any medium and there are no restrictions on form or content. However, proposals that demonstrate innovation and deep, nuanced understanding of contemporary art, craft, or design are preferred. All proposals will be reviewed for overall artistic merit, impact on the experience of our students, feasibility within the established time-frame and budget, artist’s demonstration of ability to complete such a project, and the relationship of the project to the gallery’s mission.


A RT IST I N R ESI DENCE  6


A RT IST I N R ESI DENCE  7


A RT IST I N R ESI DENCE  8


A RT IST I N R ESI DENCE  10

F r o m P i r at e Ca m p T o S u b l i m e : O n i s h i Ya s ua k i ’ s R e v e r s e Of V o l u m e Daniel Ha x all, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Art History Kutztown University


A RT IST I N R ESI DENCE  11

I

n the film I ♥ Huckabees, Dustin Hoffman reveals the meaning of life to Jason Schwartzman through an ordinary blanket. Hoffman’s character, a life coach and “Existential Detective,” explains that the blanket “represents all the matter and energy in the universe: you, me, everything…”1 Accordingly, everything in life, from hamburgers to the Eiffel Tower, occurs in the same terrestrial plane, linking all entities into a shared existence. Onishi Yasuaki’s recent installation in the Miller Gallery at Kutztown University might not establish the interconnectedness of the universe like Dustin Hoffman’s blanket, but through similarly simple means, Yasu evokes sublime landscapes, challenges our sensory faculties, and contests the currency of artistic enterprise. Long strands of black glue drip from the ceiling of the Miller Gallery, cascading onto an immense but transparent plastic sheet. Evoking falling rain or a bird’s eye view of a mountain range, Yasu seemingly disobeys gravity, balancing lightness with suspension. While the adhesive descends as if warm and liquescent, the plastic appears to hover weightlessly above the gallery floor. With no visible indication of structural tension or the seams of the

oversized plastic sheeting, illusionism leads us through a space both majestic and disorienting. Titled Reverse of Volume, the installation was created by draping plastic atop boxes and chairs. The artist connected this plastic to the overhanging gallery armature with a hot glue gun, demonstrating a remarkable precision and mastery of gravity. Instead of allowing large pools of dark glue to gather on the clear surface, Yasu drips just enough to leave a cursive residue where sheet meets adhesive. Positioned at various intervals, the surface invites exploration into and around the gallery, providing the type of immersive immediacy that, according to critic Boris Groys, typifies truly “contemporary” art. 2 Groys contends that, more than any medium, installation art establishes a “here and now,” restoring viewers’ relationship to artistic “aura” by resisting duplication and emphasizing presentness. 3 Where modernism looked to the future and postmodernism revived the past, contemporary art privileges the extant or living moment, both through the production of literal space and the materiality of the objects occupying that space. What Yasu creates, then, is a site of viewership, a place that demands scrutiny and generates active spectators.


A RT IST I N R ESI DENCE  12

Yet one cannot help but notice the political ramifications of Reverse of Volume. Yasu’s humble materials challenge the grand rhetoric of academic art, rewriting legacies of bronze, marble, and oil with plastic, glue, and other lowcost found objects. His installations are fleeting, temporary events, the nature of which resists the marketplace. Once the duration of his residency is completed, the work will be destroyed, cut down and discarded as if lacking cultural capital. This impulse towards the transitory rejects the commodification of art. Neither permanent nor valued as an investment, Yasu’s work epitomizes the “critique of institutions” that Benjamin Buchloh located in 1960s Conceptual Art installations. 4 In this capacity, Onishi Yasuaki stands beside artists such as Mel Bochner for his unconventionality and capacity for spectacle. Despite different means and effects, both artists contest the value of the art object while challenging our engagement with the gallery space. Yasu has embraced other forms of countercultural resistance, participating in the Pirate Camp, a “Stateless” Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. This juried collection of sixteen international artists established a temporary campsite in Venice, “occupying” the Biennale to provide an inexpensive base for artistic collaboration and exchange. Despite being removed by Italian authorities, the Pirate Camp explicitly drew attention to the prohibitive price

tag of many art fairs and biennials, encouraging young artists to embrace other forms of aesthetic engagement. In a similar way, Reverse of Volume inverts the circulation of capital often associated with art, positioning the ephemeral moment above the eternal object.

H i s in s t a ll a t io n s a r e f l e e t in g, t e m p o r a r y e ve n t s , t h e n a t ur e o f w hi c h r e s i s t s t h e m a r ke t p l a c e . Whatever the implications of Reverse of Volume, the major differences between Onishi Yasuaki’s work and much of Conceptual Art stem from labor and aesthetics. Where many conceptualists adopted managerial positions in the production of art and removed themselves from fabrication, Yasu directly engages his craft. The “re -skilling” of the artist occurs within the gallery as a lightness of touch and precise handling of seemingly brittle materials are required to realize the installation. Through glue and plastic, the Miller Gallery has been transformed into another world where evocations of mountains and other sublime experiences emerge from humble


ingredients. Sweeping contours reminiscent of vast landscapes nestle among delicate adhesive fibers, producing a remarkable interplay of majestic forms and implausible structures. The beauty of the installation is refreshing in an art world often dominated by theory and politics, and in this way, Yasu establishes a presence that would confound Dustin Hoffman

I ♥ Huckabees, directed by David O. Russell (Los Angeles: Fox Searchlight, 2004)

1

Boris Groys, “The Topology of Contemporary Art,” chapter 4 in Antinomies of Art and Culture: Modernity, Postmodernity, Contemporaneity, edited by Terry Smith, Okwui Enwezor, and Nancy Condee (Durham: Duke University Press, 2008), 71-80. 2

Walter Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” reprinted in Illuminations: Essays and Reflections, edited by Hannah Arendt, translated by Harry Zohn (1955; New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1968), 217-251. 3

Benjamin Buchloh: “Conceptual Art 1962-1969: From the Aesthetic of Administration to the Critique of Institutions,” October 55 (October 1990): 105-143.

4

5 For more on the notion of artistic labor and Conceptual Art, see: Lucy Lippard and John Chandler, “The Dematerialization of Art,” Art International 12, no. 2 (February 1968), 31 36; Helen Molesworth, Work Ethic (Baltimore: Baltimore Museum of Art; University Park: Penn State University Press, 2003).


A RT IST I N R ESI DENCE  14


A RT IST I N R ESI DENCE  15


G A LLER Y O F WA LL PIECES

In addition to his large scale installation, Yasuaki created ten small wall pieces of hot glue and graphite on wood and the tops of boxes used in the creation of “Reverse of Volume”.


A RT IST I N R ESI DENCE

untitled, 2012 / Hot glue and graphite on wood, 10 x 8 in

17

untitled, 2012 / Hot glue and graphite on wood, 10 x 8 in


A RT IST I N R ESI DENCE

18


A RT IST I N R ESI DENCE

19

untitled, 2012 / Hot glue and graphite on wood, 16 x 16 in


A RT IST I N R ESI DENCE

20

untitled, 2012 / Hot glue and graphite on wood, 16 x 16 in


A RT IST I N R ESI DENCE  21


A RT IST I N R ESI DENCE  22

O n e Ma n ’ s C e i l i n g i s A n o t h e r Ma n ’ s F l o o r Genevieve Arnone, FINE ARTS GRADUATE 2012


A RT IST I N R ESI DENCE  23

O

ne man’s meat is another man’s poison. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. One man’s ceiling is another man’s floor. All of these idioms rely on the basic belief that perspective is essential for denoting the value or meaning of a given object. Japanese artist, Onishi Yasuaki, has developed a body of work that challenges such perspectives, transforming trash into tools and void into mass, ultimately making the unseen, seen. Using lowly materials and site-specific media, Yasu creates impermanent sculptures that redefine the way his audience interprets positive and negative space. With degrees from Kyoto City University and the University of Tsukuba, Yasu featured in the 2003 GUNMA Biennale, participated in the Pirate Camp Pavilion at the 2011 Venice Biennale, and exhibited in galleries throughout Japan, Korea, and Europe. As a young, internationally renowned artist, Onishi Yasuaki’s contemplative conceptualism, innovative artistic processes, and the temporary nature of his work place him in the here and now, as a true representative of contemporary art.

In the spring of 2012, Yasuaki was awarded a month-long residency at the Miller Gallery of Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, the third consecutive year of this installation program. In conjunction with his visit, Yasu was asked to deliver a public lecture about his work, highlighting the development of his sculptural, photographic, and kinetic oeuvre. An audience of students and faculty were introduced to the work retrospectively, from his current professional accomplishments to the work he did as an undergraduate that inspired his portfolio. His earliest sculptures involved applying dyed adhesive or welded steel to the exterior of solid objects like fruit, vegetables, or wood. The perishable items were left to rot away and the wooden items burned to ashes, leaving behind only the gridded outlines of the positive space they once inhabited. The majority of his photographic work involved the contrast of light against dark to illuminate the outlines of mass in a given environment. Luminescent string and dots were strewn across the surfaces of cardboard boxes in a space


A RT IST I N R ESI DENCE  24

amidst darkness, thus creating glowing exoskeletons of mass. These same luminous sculptures came to life with the addition of bubbles of plastic sheeting inflated by a fan at regular intervals, exhaling and inhaling to the opposing extremes of volume and void. His installation work continued to examine this dichotomy between absence and presence, using hot glue and found objects native to the location of the particular piece. In India, the artist collected littered strips of ropes and string from local outdoor markets to suspend from a web of dyed glue. In Canada, he gathered a large collection of maple leaves, indigenous to the land and culture of the country, for another site-specific work. Throughout his career, Yasu has engaged the nature of materials and their relationship to mass and space, interests apparent in his project for Kutztown University, Reverse of Volume. This ambitious installation spanned the interior of the Marlin and Regina Miller Art Gallery. Undergraduate students were given the opportunity to aid the artist in the construction of this work. Yasu and his apprentices overcame language barriers and together constructed a monofilament grid through the rafters from which black glue was dripped at each intersection onto a cascading plastic sheet. The plastic sheeting was draped

over carefully arranged cardboard boxes atop scaffolding, suspended by a web of hot glue, and once dry, the boxes were later removed. The process of the addition, and subsequent subtraction, of the boxes is what the artist referred to as “casting the invisible”. The result was a ghostly landscape covered in contrasting splatters of ebony glue, inviting viewers to closely examine the seemingly improbable gravity of the work. As one traveled around the suspended sheet, the undulating form shifted the viewer’s recognition of void and mass, forcing the audience to question their faculties of perception. His use of modest and previously discarded materials was obscured by the meticulous construction of the piece, allowing viewers to see beyond adhesive and plastic and into the ethereal experience of the work. Lowly materials were configured in a manner that seemed to defy the laws of physics, transcending the piece into the realm of the sublime. Onishi Yasuaki opened the door for his audience to see that one man’s perspective can be another man’s pleasure.


A RT IST I N R ESI DENCE  26


A RT IST I N R ESI DENCE  27


A RT IST I N R ESI DENCE  28


A RT IST I N R ESI DENCE  29


A RT IST I N R ESI DENCE  30

A b o u t ONISHI YA SUA KI

Yasuaki Onishi studied sculpture at University of Tsukuba and Kyoto City University of Arts. He has had solo exhibitions throughout Japan and internationally, and his work was included in Ways of Worldmaking ( 2011), at the National Museum of Art, Osaka ( NMAO ). In 2010, Onishi was the recipient of a United States- Japan Foundation Fellowship that included a residency at the Vermont Studio Center, as well as a grant from The Pollock-Krasner Foundation Inc., New York. This installation at the Marlin and Regina Miller Gallery in Kutztown is his first large-scale installation in the United States.


A RT IST I N R ESI DENCE  31


A RT IST I N R ESI DENCE  32

A BOUT KUT Z TO W N UNIVERSIT Y

The Marlin and Regina Miller Gallery of Kutztown University presents significant and professionally executed solo and group exhibitions of contemporary art in a variety of mediums as well as supporting programs, events, and services that will directly enhance the artistic and philosophical development of our students and our community. We strive to challenge assumptions and stimulate discussion by presenting artwork and programs relevant to the social and cultural life of the general and special populations within our service area. Located an hour north of Philadelphia, and two hours west of New York City, KU has an enrollment of 10,000 + students. Each year, our College of Visual and Performing Arts awards approximately 225 undergraduate degrees in Communication Design, Fine Arts, Art Education, and Crafts. Our Visual Arts programs are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.


A RT IST I N R ESI DENCE  33


The Marlin and Regina Miller Gallery of Kutztown University presents significant and professionally executed solo and group exhibitions of contemporary art in a variety of mediums as well as supporting programs, events, and services that will directly enhance the artistic and philosophical development of our students and our community. We strive to challenge assumptions and stimulate discussion by presenting artwork and programs relevant to the social and cultural life of the general and special populations within our service area.

Marlin and Regina Miller Gallery P.O. Box 730 Kutztown, PA 19530-0730

Onishi Yasuaki : Reverse of Volume.  

Artist in Residence Site Specific Installation January 26 - March 12, 2012

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you