Pierre Huyghe is a producer of spectacular and memorable enigmas, with works that function more like mirages than as objects. Abyssal Plain (2015–ongoing), his contribution to the 2015 Istanbul Biennial, curated by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, was installed on the seabed of the Marmara Sea, some 20 metres below the surface of the water and close to...
In the early decades of its existence, New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), founded in 1929, transformed from a philanthropic project modestly housed in a few rooms of the Heckscher Building on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street, to an alleged operating node in the United States' cultural struggle during the cold war, and one of the...
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...
Japan has always been one of the countries at the forefront of technological advances. It is not a surprise that artists from the country are therefore also drawn to the potentials of using technology and scientific knowledge to create mesmerising works that alter our perception of reality.
The Culture Trip brings you 10 artists who are changing the meaning of art, juxtaposing art, design, science, and technology or playing with illusions to alter our perception of the everyday.
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).
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