We are pleased to announce that gallery UG Tennoz will hold a solo exhibition of Nami OKADA from August 4(Fri.) to August 26(Sat.).
It is fresh in our memory that "one view" series was presented at NANJO SELECTION vol.2 (*2) curated by Fumio NANJO (*1) in July 2023. In this exhibition at our gallery, we will present a new series "VOID" derived from the "one view" series, which has been painted since 2018.
Okada creates works that are a combination of abstraction and figuration by repeatedly applying layers of acrylic paint and sanding them off. In her works, new landscapes have been created by collaging many layers of landscapes that she has visited and seen.
Although they are fictional landscapes that do not exist anywhere, viewers evoke a sense of nostalgia and déjà vu in her works. In the new series “VOID”, the concept of time is added to the conventional collage of memories, depicting a time-space created through repeated "change and construction”.
This feature can be seen in her recent "one view" series. In the works presented in this exhibition, there is a "circle" in the painting which gives the image of a circle phase, and I think that this might be made by Okada's longing and inquisitiveness about the relationship between memory and time. Also, they are open to interpretation by the viewers at the same time. Okada's works can be meaningful only when the viewers interact with them. And the meanings of the work can be come up by as many viewers as there are.
♦From Fumio NANJO
The “VOID”, a space where nothing exists is a new series of works by Nami OKADA.
When looking back her ex-series "Garando" is based on the theme of a place where is no memories and affections.
Former series "one view", which seems like crystallizing accumulated memories. She gets to a new series "VOID," which is based on the theme of a time loop that repeats itself in memory. The pale, and little romantic landscapes include cosmic and ontological visions.
This is symbolized by a mysterious circular shape floating in the air, an image that could be described as “enso”, a circular phase, if I had to say. I wonder if OKADA's work here is approaching Zen-like enlightenment. We look forward to seeing new developments in OKADA's work, which moves back and forth between abstraction and figuration, reality and memory.
Fumio NANJO (Art Critic / Special Advisor to Mori Art Museum / Special Director of Arts Maebashi)
♦From the artist
The paintings in this exhibition have a certain image source that I have been working on since I was a student. Originally, they were paintings I had made under the title "Garando”. At that time, I was thinking about "spaces in my memory”. For example, one day I noticed that a corner of a place I usually passed by on my way to school had been turned into a vacant land, but I could not recall what had originally been there. I can't remember what was there though there was something there in reality.
I named this phenomenon "Garaundo" which means that I was not aware of the existence of something, and it was as if it had never happened. After that, my interest turned into an interest in "space", an "anonymous place that existed", and in 2018 I began a series of paintings called "one view”. They were works that depicted anonymous and indefinable landscapes, as if I was creating landscapes of our latent memory.
I wanted to create landscapes that would evoke memories stored within each person who viewed my work.
After several years of such work, I realized something.
It is that even the created landscapes have units that repeat themselves like "four seasons”.
In other words, human memory is not a static image in which time seems to stop, but rather a visual image that is constantly in its own loop. After this realization, I gave the name "VOID" to a group of paintings created with this idea. This is a series of paintings that are like a pair of siblings to the "one view" series, born out of "Garando". While "one view" depicts a certain space, "VOID" depicts a phenomenon that can be described as a "circle of time”. Both series belong to the same place, but play different roles. This time, I attempt to show how time would look like if it was flowing in our memories. I am also exploring the shape of the circle of memory and time in "VOID".
*1 Fumio NANJO
Special Advisor to Mori Art Museum, Special Director of Arts Maebashi, President of N&A Inc.
Born in 1949, Tokyo
Graduated from Keio University, Faculty of Economics and Faculty of Letters, Department of Philosophy, Department of Aesthetics and Art History.
After working for the Japan Foundation (1978-1986), he served as Deputy Director of the Mori Art Museum from 2002 and Director of the Mori Art Museum from 2006-2019.
In the past, he served as commissioner of the Japan Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (1997) and Taipei Biennale (1998), jury member of Turner Prize (London, 1998), artistic director of Yokohama Triennale (2001) and Singapore Biennale (2006, 2008), artistic director of Ibaraki He has also served as the General Director of the Kenpoku Art Festival (2016) and the Curatorial Director of the Honolulu Biennial (2017).
Book: "Fast Running Asia: Contemporary Art Today" (Bijutsu Nenkan Sha, 2010) and "Living Art" (Kadokawa Shoten, 2012).
*2 NANJO SELECTION
Curated by Fumio NANJO, this exhibition series introduces promising young artists. The second exhibition, "A Whiter Shade of Pale," a solo show by Nami OKADA, was held at N&A Art SITE (Nakameguro) from July 3 to July 29, 2023.