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Jess Johnson: Worlds Within Worlds Ocula Conversation Jess Johnson: Worlds Within Worlds

Geometric patterns, anthropomorphic characters, architectural spatial environments, and relics of the ancient world appear throughout Jess Johnson's artworks.Johnson's solo art-ventures began in drawing, but her long-term collaborative relationship with animator Simon Ward brings her drawings to life in videos and virtual reality. The animator has...

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Melati Suryodarmo: Performance Art as Trigger Ocula Conversation Melati Suryodarmo: Performance Art as Trigger

In 2012, Melati Suryodarmo opened Studio Plesungan in her native Surakarta, also known as Solo, the historic royal capital of the Mataram Empire of Java in Indonesia. Suryodarmo had returned to Indonesia from Germany, where she studied Butoh and choreography with Butoh dancer and choreographer Anzu Furukawa, time-based media with avantgarde...

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Lagos Biennial 2019: Stories from Africa’s most Populous City Ocula Report Lagos Biennial 2019: Stories from Africa’s most Populous City 15 Nov 2019 : Jareh Das for Ocula

Under the direction of Folakunle Oshun, the second edition of the Lagos Biennial (26 October–23 November 2019) includes works by over 40 Lagos-based and international artists, architects, and collectives. Curated by architect Tosin Oshinowo, curator and producer Oyindamola Fakeye, and assistant curator of photography at the Art Institute of...

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Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough Ocula Insight | Video
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Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough 15 October 2019

Hans Hartung and Art Informel at Mazzoleni London (1 October 2019-18 January 2020) presents key works by the French-German painter while highlighting his connection with artists active in Paris during the 50s and 60s. In this video, writer and historian Alan Montgomery discusses Hartung's practice and its legacy.Born in Leipzig in 1904, Hans...

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Mariko Mori

b. 1967, Japan

Working across performance, video, photography, and large-scale installation, Mariko Mori's artworks combine ideas and imagery from pop culture, religion, and technology in her exploration of the universal, the fantastic, and otherness.

Mori herself is the main protagonist in many of her early artworks from the 1990s, often portraying a cyborg or alien-like heroine in an urban environment. The performance Play with Me (1994), for example, involved the artist standing outside a toy store in Tokyo, wearing a long, twin-tail blue wig and futuristic armour—drawing parallels with manga characters in the advertisements on the shop window. Other works juxtapose the Japanese stereotypes of submissive women, such as the photograph Love Hotel (1994), which shows Mori on a circular bed wearing a schoolgirl's outfit, or Tea Ceremony (1995), a performance that saw her on the street offering tea to passers-by while dressed as an office worker.

In the mid-1990s, Mariko Mori began to incorporate religious iconography into her increasingly interactive work. The 3D film Nirvana (1996–1997) shows her as Kichijoten, the Japanese Buddhist goddess, surrounded by a band of animated musicians against a pale golden sky and a still body of water. Dream Temple (1999), an architectural installation inspired by the 8th-century Horuji monastery in Nara, provided a more immersive experience by inviting viewers to walk through a covered salt garden and into the building to watch an animated film inside. Members of the audience become even more active with Oneness (2003), a group of six alien sculptures that light up when the figures are hugged. The work conveys both the idea of accepting differences and the Buddhist notion of the interconnectedness of all things.

Mori's concern with spirituality developed into a study of ancient cultures in Rebirth, her solo exhibition at Japan Society in New York in 2013. Transcircle 1.1 (2004), a ring of LED-lit columns, for example, is inspired by the Celtic stone circles, while Flatstone (2006)—a configuration of ceramic stones and an acrylic vase on the floor—derives from a Jōmon temple in Japan. In an interview with Ocula Magazine in 2014, the artist recalled that she was driven by her search for shared values in prehistoric cultures: 'I wanted to discover an idea, which is more universal, not only in Japan or Asia ... It's before religion. It's before difference.'

Other recurring preoccupations in Mori's work are interplanetary space and the cycle of life, death, and rebirth. In her solo exhibition Invisible Dimension at Sean Kelly, New York, in 2018, she included sculptures inspired by astrophysical theories, such as Ekpyrotic String VI (2016–2017). The white fibreglass and stainless steel sculpture, with its infinite rings and curves reminiscent of the Möbius strip, reflects the ekpyrotic model that describes the universe as unfolding in a never-ending cosmic cycle.

Mariko Mori's works are collected by international art institutions such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Mori has exhibited in major art biennials, among them the Singapore Biennale (2006); Venice Biennale (2005, 1997); Biennale of Sydney (2000); Shanghai Biennale (2000); and the São Paulo Biennial (2002).

Biography by Sherry Paik | Ocula | 2019
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Featured Artworks

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Wave UFO model II by Mariko Mori contemporary artwork
Mariko MoriWave UFO model II, 2017 Lucite
41 x 97 x 38 cm
SCAI The Bathhouse
Spirifer III by Mariko Mori contemporary artwork
Mariko MoriSpirifer III, 2017–2018 Dichroic coated acrylic, Corian base
130 x 77 x 52.8 cm
Sean Kelly
Higher Being IX by Mariko Mori contemporary artwork
Mariko MoriHigher Being IX, 2014 Fujiflex, lucite frame
121.9 x 121.9 x 7.6 cm
Sean Kelly
Plasma Stone I by Mariko Mori contemporary artwork
Mariko MoriPlasma Stone I, 2017–2018 Dichroic coated layered acrylic, corian base
194 x 80 x 112 cm
Sean Kelly
Spirifer ll by Mariko Mori contemporary artwork
Mariko MoriSpirifer ll, 2017-2018 Dichroic coated acrylic, corian base
94.6 x 60 x 51.6 cm
SCAI The Bathhouse
Spirifer II by Mariko Mori contemporary artwork
Mariko MoriSpirifer II, 2017–2018 Dichroic coated acrylic, Corian base
Sean Kelly
Spirifer I by Mariko Mori contemporary artwork
Mariko MoriSpirifer I, 2017 Dichroic coated acrylic, Corian base
Sean Kelly
Plasma Stone II by Mariko Mori contemporary artwork
Mariko MoriPlasma Stone II, 2017–2018 Dichroic coated layered acrylic in 2 parts, Corian base
127 x 59.7 x 45.7 cm
Sean Kelly

Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Darren Almond, Tatsuo Miyajima, Mariko Mori, Group Exhibition at SCAI The Bathhouse, Tokyo
Closed
28 August–15 September 2018 Darren Almond, Tatsuo Miyajima, Mariko Mori Group Exhibition SCAI The Bathhouse, Tokyo
Contemporary art exhibition, Mariko Mori, Invisible Dimension at Sean Kelly, New York
Closed
23 March–28 April 2018 Mariko Mori Invisible Dimension Sean Kelly, New York
Contemporary art exhibition, Mariko Mori, Cycloid at SCAI The Bathhouse, Tokyo
Closed
11 March–23 April 2016 Mariko Mori Cycloid SCAI The Bathhouse, Tokyo

Represented By

In Ocula Magazine

Mariko Mori Ocula Conversation Mariko Mori Artist, Japan

She may be remembered as an ’80s fashion model or more known for her Cindy Sherman-esque photographs in which she inserted herself into everyday scenes while dressed in futuristic costumes—think cyborg in a convenience store, metallic astronaut in the subway and blue plastic mermaid in a public swimming pool. But what is less...

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In Related Press

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Mariko Mori scales up her metaphysical art with the latest fabrication technology Related Press Mariko Mori scales up her metaphysical art with the latest fabrication technology The Architect's Newspaper : 23 April 2018

New York-based artist Mariko Mori's nearly 30-year career has been defined by her futuristic, alien aesthetic. Her sculptures and spaces investigate our minds and the universe around us—seen and unseen. In this spirit, on display at her second exhibition with Sean Kelly in New York, Invisible Dimension, are seven space-age sculptures,...

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MARIKO MORI with Jessica Holmes Related Press MARIKO MORI with Jessica Holmes The Brooklyn Rail : 31 March 2018

Mariko Mori, unafraid to shed the skins of her past, has made a career from surprising contemporary art audiences around the world through a process of constant renewal in her work. But as it turns out, these are not skins of the past but rather strata that are all part of a continuum stretching back into ancient times and forward into the most...

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Best art at the Rio Olympics Related Press Best art at the Rio Olympics Hyperallergic : 15 August 2016

Women sweep the gold this year, with Mariko Mori and Adriana Varejão both introducing two stunning, large-scale installations. Incidentally, both also center on water. Over five years in the making, Mori’s Ring: One with Nature sets a luminous acrylic ring at the peak of the 190-foot-tall Véu da Noiva waterfall in Cunhambebe State Park....

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Ring around the world: Mariko Mori creates a cascading installation for the Rio 2016 Olympics Related Press Ring around the world: Mariko Mori creates a cascading installation for the Rio 2016 Olympics Wallpaper* : 11 August 2016

For all the heartwarming – occasionally bone-shattering – excitement that the Rio Olympics has already delivered, the events's legacy is destined to be remembered as much for by the seedy realities of doping, corruption and social tumult as the momentary, borderless merging of culture and race (an especially worthwhile sentiment...

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In Video & Audio

mariko mori: infinite renew at espace louis vuitton tokyo Related Video & Audio mariko mori: infinite renew at espace louis vuitton tokyo Designboom : 5 January 2015

redefining the architecture of the espace louis vuitton are eight monumental pieces by internationally-renowned japanese artist mariko mori. the exhibition 'infinite review' amasses sculptures and experiential installations in a series of works that metaphorically reflect the never ending circulation of life and death as well as fragments from the...

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