Izuru Mizutani, Director of the Art and Mind Center invited us to Nagoya on Tuesday , 13th August. The main focus was the Aichi Triennale, a large international art festival spread across multliple large and small sites. We were in the Aichi Arts Center for most of our day and saw a really diverse collection of works which appear overall, to value difference, freedom of expression, endeavour and humanity.
Examples that celebrate these values are evident in for instance, the delicate spatial drawings on layers of glass and paper by home grown artist Yukari Bunya; the sensitive telling of a life lived 1200 years ago by Claudia Martinez Garay and the extraordinarily labour intensive screen prints of Yohei Imamura.
There is a dark side to these themes, bringing into focus anxieties about freedom and control, privacy, safety and belonging. For example, Heather Dewey-Hagborg’s Portraits created from the DNA of found material such as chewing gum and Tanya Bruguera’s work which forces us to cry (due to menthol fumes).
The pseudo forensic approach of Kyoto based Hana Sawada’s work is extremely amusing as her research results in an absurd 3-D model. However, the message also has unsettling undertones and implications.
There were so many great pieces of work on show that highlight current concerns, but ‘After Freedom of Expression’ caused the biggest furore, with anonymous threats of arson. It was withdrawn from the exhibition and other artists subsequently withdrew their work in protest. https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/08/16/national/artists-pressure-aichi-event-organizers-exhibit-containing-comfort-women-statue-shut/#.XVljxJNKho4
Thankyou Izuru for a wonderful day!