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Naoko Tosa - Genesis and Organic Geometry

16th Feb 2017 - 17th Feb 2017

Opening & Discussion: 1:00pm February 16th

The University of Waikato is pleased to present this exhibition and workshop of Japanese media artist, Naoko Tosa, who has recently been appointed as Japan Cultural Envoy 2016 -2017 by the Agency of Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan. Transforming the gallery space into a screenic environment, Genesis features a new series of video projections by the artist that envelope the viewer in its sensual exploration of materials and temporality.

Inspired by Rimpa, one of the major historical schools in Japanese painting with its 400-year legacy, Tosa plays with Zen concepts of chance through her use of Japanese colour inks such as gold, red, black, green, yellow, pink, and blue to generate solemn forms in water, the origin of all life. While Tosa’s previous works focused on the notion of creative destruction, Genesis marks a shift in her strategy of representation and hones in on the moment of creation itself.

A pioneering feature of her practice is to introduce cutting-edge technologies at the core of her creative process. In capturing vicissitudinous interactions between Japanese inks of various colors, viscous fluid, and dry ice bubbles, she foregrounds her material sensitivity through tracing and magnifying minute movements of matter caressing and folding into each other. At the same time, a keen sense of Japanese aesthetics is at play, where notions of decorativeness, asymmetry and Wabi-sabi take flight in an arresting display of ephemera.

On Genesis, Naoko Tosa explains:

“Art can make it possible for us to experience invisible worlds that cannot be captured by our normal sense of time and space. Such experiences would induce awe and move toward nature and its energy in our mind. This work makes it possible for the viewers to experience a world where time is expanded one hundred times. Also this work cannot be created using computer graphics, because the interaction among viscous fluid, Japanese color inks, and dry ice is too complex to be expressed by a numerical formula of fluid dynamics. In other words, this is a hyper-natural form of art that can be visualized only by using a high-speed camera.”

Naoko Tosa is an internationally renowned Japanese media artist, born in 1961 in Fukuoka, Japan. Tosa’s practice covers a wide range of areas from sculpture, visual art, video art, to digital art. After receiving a PhD for Art and Technology Research from the University of Tokyo, she was a fellow at the Centre for Advanced Visual Studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) from 2002 to 2004 and is currently a professor at Kyoto University.

Tosa has exhibited her artworks at the New York Metropolitan Art Museum, London County Hall, Long Beach Museum of Art, California, Japan Creative Centre, Singapore among many locations worldwide. She was also guest artist at the Kobe Biennale and the Rimpa School 400th Anniversary at the Kyoto National Museum in 2015. Her works are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the American Film Association, The National Museum of Art, Osaka, the Toyama Prefecture Museum of Modern Art, Nagoya City Art Museum and Takamatsu City Museum of Art.