THE FUTURE MEETS ANCIENT HISTORY

ART/CULTURE

THE FUTURE MEETS ANCIENT HISTORY

Mariko Mori's Rebirth

Interview: Yu Yamaguchi (PERISCOPE)

When you hear the name Mariko Mori, the first thing that might come to mind are her significant series of futuristic and space-inspired installations. But Rebirth, her recent show at Japan Society, proved that her world has expanded into different spaces, literally and figuratively.  We also learned a lot about the FAOU Foundation, a not-for-profit entity she founded in 2010 with an ambitious goal to create a series of site-specific art installations on six habitable continents. Here’s a conversation we had recently with Mariko Mori. 

We saw your recent exhibition Rebirth, a large scale show that featured not only your significant body of work but also other media, including drawings, videos, ancient pottery and descriptions of your activities surrounding the FAOU Foundation. Can you explain what you wanted to express with this show?
About 10 years ago, I started to visit ruins from the Neolithic Age (such as the ones from the Jomon era in Japan and the ancient Celtic era) as field work, and that became an inspiration for this body of work.  This legacy from our ancestors expressed a more integrated relationship between nature and man, and it felt like these ruins were speaking to us modern people.  I reflected the cyclical aspect of nature and rebirth in the composition of this show in the hope that doing so will provide an opportunity to pose the question yet again about the relationship between man and nature now and in the future.
We understand you are working on creating a series of six site-specific art installations across six habitable continents under the FAOU foundation.  How did you come to that plan?
As an extension of the fieldwork, I visited Okinawa and had a chance to observe a traditional ceremony.  The nature worship that continues to be respected left a great impression on me.  By choosing to turn something traditional into a contemporary form, I thought I could communicate the relationship with nature that our ancestors cherished to our next generations.
How did you come to think of placing installations outdoor? Why six continents?
As the goal of the installation was and is to express my reverence to nature, I wanted to present them in natural surroundings and local residents.  The issue of protecting nature is not just for the people in the region, but also concerns every human being on this planet.  By placing installations on these continents that are inhabited by people, I am expressing my hope that people understand Earth Consciousness, the idea that the nature on this earth is shared by all beings with no borders and no limitations. I believe art has the power to connect all to one, going beyond borders of nations and cultures.
We understand you are based in London. How do you see different places you live and work affecting your work?
I am always inspired by different locations. Depending on where you go, nature under one sun varies greatly and so do different cultures.  But whether it is a ocean, mountain, lake or river, the culture borne out of lineage between people and nature has some kind of consistency. I am moved by nature, but also by people.
*Rebirth: Recent Work by Mariko Mori, is on view at Japan Society through January 12, 2014.
  • Primal Memory, 2004. Lucite; 9 7/8 x 50 x 51 inches. Courtesy of SCAI THE BATHHOUSE, Tokyo and Sean Kelly, New York.
  • Primal Memory (detail)
  • Transcircle 1.1, 2004. Stone, Corian, LED, Real-time control system; 132 3/8 inches diam., each stone 43 3/8 x 22 ¼ x 13 ½ inches. Courtesy of The Mori Art Museum, Tokyo.
  • Flatstone, 2006. Ceramic stones and acrylic vase; 192 × 124 × 3 1/2 inches. Courtesy of SCAI THE BATHHOUSE, Tokyo and Sean Kelly, New York. Installation photograph by Richard Goodbody.
  • FOREGROUND: Flatstone, 2006. Ceramic stones and acrylic vase; 192 × 124 × 3 1/2 inches. Courtesy of SCAI THE BATHHOUSE, Tokyo and Sean Kelly, New York. BACKGROUND: Transcircle 1.1, 2004. Stone, Corian, LED, real-time control system; 132 3/8 inches diam., each stone 43 3/8 × 22 1/4 × 13 1/2 inches. Courtesy of The Mori Art Museum, Tokyo. Installation photograph by Richard Goodbody.
  • Kaen-doki flame-ware vase, Middle Jōmon period (3,500–2,500 BCE). Earthenware; 11 5/8 inches high, 11 5/8 inches diam. Collection of John C. Weber.
  • Kudaka Island Site Installation III, 2004. Piezo dye print; 50 ½ x 43 7/8 inches. Courtesy of SCAI THE BATHHOUSE, Tokyo and Sean Kelly, New York.
  • Stone Circle, Ōyu, 2004. Piezo dye print; 21 ¾ x 26 7/8 inches. Courtesy of SCAI THE BATHHOUSE, Tokyo and Sean Kelly, New York.
  • Miracle, 2001. Eight Cibachrome prints, diachronic glass, salt, and crystals; each element 27 1/4 inches. Collection of Mr. Chen Rong-Chuan. Installation photograph by Richard Goodbody.
  • Miracle (detail), 2001. Eight Cibachrome prints, diachronic glass, salt, and crystals; each element 27 1/4 inches. Collection of Mr. Chen Rong-Chuan. Installation photograph by Richard Goodbody.
  • FOREGROUND: Journey to Seven Light Bay, Primal Rhythm, 2011. Video with sound; 5 minutes, 14 seconds. Sound by Ken Ikeda. © Faou Foundation, New York. Courtesy of Adobe Museum of Digital Media. BACKGROUND: Photo documentation of Sun Pillar, Primal Rhythm, 2011. C-print; 55 × 40 inches. © Faou Foundation, New York. Photo by Richard Learoyd. Installation photograph by Richard Goodbody.
  • Journey to Seven Light Bay, Primal Rhythm, 2011. Video with sound; 5 minutes, 14 seconds. Sound by Ken Ikeda. © Faou Foundation, New York. Courtesy of Adobe Museum of Digital Media.
  • Ring, 2012. Lucite; 48 inches diam., 2 2/5 inches thick. © Faou Foundation, New York. Courtesy of SCAI THE BATHOUSE, Tokyo and Sean Kelly, New York. Photo © Royal Academy of Arts, London/M. Leith.
  • FOREGROUND: Tama I, 2011. Epoxy with pearlescent finish; 13 inches diam. Courtesy of SCAI THE BATHHOUSE, Tokyo and Sean Kelly, New York.
  • Tama I, 2011. Epoxy with pearlescent finish; 13 inches diam. Courtesy of SCAI THE BATHHOUSE, Tokyo and Sean Kelly, New York.
  • White Hole, 2008–10. Acrylic and LED lights; 136 1/8 × 103 1/2 inches. Courtesy of SCAI THE BATHHOUSE, Tokyo and Sean Kelly, New York. Installation photograph by Richard Goodbody.
  • White Hole VII, 2009. Mixed media on Plexiglass panel; 50 x 55 inches. Courtesy of SCAI THE BATHHOUSE, Tokyo and Sean Kelly, New York.

11.27.2013

Team Periscope is traveling in

PRE-ELECTION AMERICA

SOCIAL
  •    RSS Feed

TWITTER TIME LINE