In Meiro Koizumi's three-channel video installation, The Angels of Testimony (2019), the central frame features an interview with Hajime Kondo about his time as a solider of the Imperial Japanese Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The conversation centres on war crimes perpetrated in China, including the beheading of Chinese prisoners for...
Diana Campbell Betancourt is a curator working predominantly across South and Southeast Asia. Since 2013 she has been the founding artistic director of the Samdani Art Foundation and chief curator of the Dhaka Art Summit in Dhaka, Bangladesh, a transnational art event that has grown in size and scale ever since its first edition in 2012. Backed by...
China, home to 802 million internet users, is subject to sophisticated online censorship. This shrouded state of affairs, unsurprisingly perhaps, serves to reinforce stereotypes around conformity elsewhere. Any realm, digital or otherwise, subject to such strict scrutiny must necessarily be bland and uncritical, right? I was mulling over such...
Parafin is delighted to announce its second exhibition with the London-based Japanese artist and filmmaker, Hiraki Sawa (born 1977, Ishikawa, Japan). Sawa is known internationally for videos and installations that create powerful psychological situations by inter-weaving the domestic and the fantastic. Characterised by quietness and introspection, his works create compelling interior worlds and meditate upon themes of memory and displacement. Often presented in complex installations incorporating objects and drawings, Sawa's works occupy a tangible dimension that sits between the parallel languages of sculpture and film.
The exhibition will feature UK premieres for three new film works, which were developed for the Reborn Art Festival, Ishonomaki, the Oku Noto International Triennial, Suzu and the Sapporo International Art Festival, Sapporo, all in 2017. fantasmagoria (2017) and fishstory (2017) are related works based on a family story about Sawa's grandfather, who suffered a stroke as a young man. To check the bleeding on his brain, Sawa's grandmother had to obtain ice to keep him cool, which in the remote part of the country where they lived was a very difficult task. Both films reflect upon this story and use images of an isolated man and woman, a ship, the sea, a lighthouse, and the struggle to transport a block of ice through the landscape to create an oneiric reality, evoking an ancient myth or folk story. This effect is enhanced by Sawa's shifting of the point of view from sea to land.
The third work, ulo.ulo.ulo (2017) marks a radical departure for Sawa. Instead of the intimate interiors that are typical of his work, the film focuses on a series of surreal actions performed in darkness in a snow-bound landscape. Set on the frozen Lake Shuparo in Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost island, the film follows a figure (the artist Tetsuya Umeda) as he performs a series of enigmatic actions lit only by a stark light bulb, creating magical effects. Sawa describes the events:
'The idea was to light the lake from the inside, below the ice. So Tetsuya made his way across the surface with a drill and a large light bulb. I filmed from a distance as he bored through the ice – which, thankfully, was thick enough to stand on. He lowered the bulb through the hole, then pulled it from the water, swung it through the darkness and submerged it again. The way the light refracted through the water was incredible.'
However, Sawa's film is not simply documentation of Tetsuya's actions, but was rather shot and edited as an attempt at 'sculpting time', treating film itself as a sculptural medium.
Hiraki Sawa (born 1977, Ishikawa, Japan) received his BFA from the University of East London and his MFA from the Slade School of Art at University College, London. Sawa has exhibited extensively around the world. Important solo exhibitions include fig-2 at the ICA, London (2015), Dundee Contemporary Arts (2013), the MORI Art Museum, Tokyo (2013), Chisenhale Gallery, London (2007), National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2006), Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, (2006), Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC (2005) and the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2005). Important recent group exhibitions include Roppongi Crossing, Mori Art Museum (2016), the Biennale de Lyon (2013), Mono No Avare: Contemporary Japanese Artists, State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg (2013), What We See, National Museum of Art, Osaka (2013), the Sydney Biennial (2010), 6th Asian-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane (2009), Automatic Cities: The Architectural Imaginary in Contemporary Art, The Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego (2009) and the Yokohama Triennial (2005).
Hiraki Sawa's works are included in many important public collections internationally, including the Arts Council Collection, London, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Saint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, The Modern Art Museum, Fort Worth, Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, CAB, Burgos, Spain, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, National Museum of Art, Osaka, Taipei Fine Art Museum, Taiwan, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, Spain, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art, Aichi, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel, and the Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia.
This week gave me a chance to consider human intervention in our environment. If Sondra Perry’s opening at the Serpentine uses digital tools to make our dark history extremely contemporary, Open Space Contemporary’s Adventitious Encounters exploits its location to explore our desire for nature in a technologically saturated world. The former...
We have sent you an email containing a link to reset your password. Simply click the link and enter your new password to complete this process.
Scan the QR Code via WeChat to follow Ocula's official account.