Mind Set Art Center is honoured to collaborate with the Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts and presents Rustle of Existence, the major solo exhibition of the Tokyo-based artist Shinji Ohmaki. It is the artist's first museum exhibit in Taiwan, which will occupy gallery 101-104 and run from 11 September to 22 November.
"Existence" has always been the primary subject that Shinji Ohmaki cares for and probes into in his art practice. Starting with the reflective thoughts on gravity, medium and material, he has constantly searched for the boundary between what is substantial and spiritual, and the self and others. How is one supposed to go about recognizing and pursuing such boundaries? On March 11, 2011, Japan was hit by the Great East Japan Earthquake and the ensuing Fukushima Nuclear Disaster. It completely changes people's values about everything around us that we hold right up to the moment before they wreak havoc upon us. The existence can be so uncertain, and it was when Ohmaki started questioning and thinking about the "uncertainty of existence". He wanted to turn what we can't visually perceive into what people can see, to capture the trajectory of living itself, and to make his work based on the idea of "proof of existence". In this exhibition, the artist reviews his previous works, researches and thinks further about the uncertainty of existence. Referring to Yutaka Haniya's philosophical concept of "the discomfort of self-identity", the artist dialogues with the history and his mind to compose a silhouette of the existence of Taiwan. The intrinsic conversations among Echoes Crystallization- Formosa, Flotage, and Liminal Air Space-Time gradually solidify the continuous experience of "existence" and conveys massive energy of resonances.
When humanity encounters the challenging transition in 2020, Rustle of Existence is like a spectrum in connection with critical thinking of existence and keeps exploring all kinds of possibilities in Taiwan during the post- COVID pandemic era. As Ohmaki says: "Due to the influences of COVID-19, we human beings are on the diverging paths to reexamine our relations with others from the aspects of life, thought, nation and society, such as the unsolved energy problems and the pervasive effects of racism from the United States to the world. While pondering over what is others, I would like to review the ground I stand upon again. My search for the invisible existence is to grasp a beam of light in the dark, of which should be passed on ever after."
 Yutaka Haniya. Haniya was born and raised in Taiwan when the country was still under Japanese rule, but at the time he felt uncomfortable with the harsh attitude that the Japanese held towards the Taiwanese people, and stated that he had lost faith both in Japan and in his own existence. As he continued to question himself and his existence, he eventually arrived at the philosophy of "the discomfort of self-identity" - or, more commonly, the feeling of discomfort that one feels about the fact that "A equals to A". It is with this feeling of discomfort about how we try to explain away everything with the concept of "A = A" that drove me to question the "uncertainty of existence", something I have been thinking about since the Great East Japan Earthquake.
Press release courtesy Mind Set Art Center.
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