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« The China Connection (part 2) - Transmediale | Main | Techno Tuesday »

Yuriko Yamaguchi

Yuriko Yamaguchi

php5EPdM1_b_yamiguchi color.jpg Yuriko Yamaguchi’s Web #5 is a paradox of rushing movement and absolute stillness. A tornado turned on its side, its nest of bent wire, sprinkled with organic, papery pods, swarms from a hole in the gallery wall. While obviously a work of sculpture, its wire skeleton is a three-dimensional drawing with a drama that is pure performance.
The evanescent mass suspended by filament takes up a large section of the Russell Hill Rogers Gallery at San Antonio’s Southwest School of Art & Craft, projecting 20 feet into the space in a rising crescendo. As the viewer walks its length, the sculptural stillness ends and, suddenly, the various pod casings and bent wire passages begin to arc and pace, a sensation one has while driving past a fence and watching its posts blur by. As a monolithic installation of intricate, even obsessive, handwork, Web #5 defies easy definition in the contemporary art world. The artist re-examines techniques of modern, Calder-esque sculpture, as well as traditional papermaking, in a gesture that fits the exhibition style of its current venue. Intermingling fine art and craft, Yamaguchi was previously included in a group exhibition there titled "Abstract Craft: The Non-Objective Object." Her current solo exhibition is tenderly installed with dramatic lighting that smudges the walls with shadows like blown kisses. Yamaguchi, born in Osaka, Japan, is part of an emerging group of interesting female sculptors in the Baltimore/Washington D.C. area that use basic materials to achieve poetic ends. Yamaguchi is known for her immense installation of individual wooden sculptures, Metamorphosis, which she began in 1991. Based on her impressions after the fall of the Berlin Wall, she created 108 individual wooden objects, a symbolic number in Japan, and spread the production out for over a decade. Metamorphosis hangs grid-style, its smoky-black sculptures hieroglyphic against white walls. Stacked four high, they were to be read from top to bottom like Japanese characters. While working on one particular sculpture for the epic series, Yamaguchi experimented with making a crisp, mottled pod with pulp from the abaca plant (a product of the banana plant family) which she then covered in flax and dried. The result gave birth to the legion of strange fruit clinging to the matrix of Web #5. Fittingly, Metamorphosis has been shown alongside Web #5 in various US sites, and at the Museum of Modern Art in Kamakura, Japan. While the former work’s collection of objects grips gallery walls like particles in a centrifuge, Web #5 catches up its small pods in a funnel that twists into the center of the room, turned on its side to allow the viewer to gaze into its eyewall. Yamaguchi’s web-inspired wire installations are generally floating, sometimes canopy-style, and have at times included motion sensors to activate a rhythmic sound like a heart beating. In its current, silent form at Southwest School, it may be read as a haiku on the flurry of our modern lives. In a city that used to be part of Mexico, the hybrid nature of Web #5, which blends the cultural quietude of the artist’s Japanese origins and the buzz of modern culture, is familiar yet refreshingly cool. Originally from NyArtsMagazine (Catherine Walworth)

Originally from
ReBlogged by silvia on Feb 13, 2006 at 03:03 PM Posted by silvia on Feb 13, 2006 at 03:03 PM


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