Rosenfeld Porcini presents ‘A Mirage of Ruins’, Japanese artist Keita Miyazaki’s first solo show in the gallery. Featuring Miyazaki’s latest works, ‘A Mirage of Ruins’ displays the development of his lan – guage while revealing the increasing visual complexity of his practice. Contemporaneously to our exhibition, a selection of sculptures by Miyazaki will be part of ‘Childhood | Another Banana Day for the Dream Fish’ at Palais de Tokyo in Paris from 21st June to 9th September.
Utopia and Dystopia coalesce in the practice of Keita Miyazaki, a witness of the unmitigated destruction caused by the nuclear meltdown after the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in 2011. Aligned with the front of artists that re-utilize discarded elements of our industrialized world to question the twentieth century obsessions which propelled the materialistic drive of so many of the world’s economies, he has forged his own individual path, buttressed by an aesthetic which amalgamates both Western and Oriental influences.
Miyazaki’s sculptures and installations feature materials whose combination suggests an original and unfamiliar visual language. Discarded car engine components are welded together conjuring figures resembling exotic vegetation on an undiscovered planet. These are then married to richly colored folded paper shapes and sewn felt, fashioning sculptures of beguiling contradiction and unique aesthetic intrigue that appear at once automated yet also natural in their organic feature. Coherent to the artistic legacy of his country, the kaleidoscopic floral forms are crafted in traditional Japanese techniques. Through the juxtaposition of a hard, metallic edge with vividly colored, delicate origami, these unconventional hybrids escape formal paradigms, rather evoking a sense of post-apocalyptic reconciliation.
In the exhibition, extravagant and hugely complex works like Laocoon and A Mirage of Ruins coexist with more modestly sized wall-based sculptures such as Core and Ground Coral.
Follow rosenfeldporcini on Facebook (facebook.com/rosenfeldporcini) and Instagram (instagram.com/rosenfeldporcini/) Miyazaki often adopts sound as a further element within his sculptures. Initially inspired by jingles taken from daily Japanese life, recently he has broadened his spectrum drawing on more abstract sounds, historical events and traditional African instruments. Incorporated within small speakers nestled inside the origami-like flowers, sound adds an enigmatic note to Miyazaki’s immersive universe.
On display in a room of the gallery downstairs, the artist’s latest series entitled Vanitas references the Vanitas of seventeenth century Dutch painting igniting profound philosophical meditations on the transience of human existence. Pushing his formal language through uncharted avenues, Miyazaki here reinterprets historical references making use of his welding ability to create metal wall mounted cases with glass vitrines containing both made and found objects which all relate to the fragility of human nature and the vanity of our lives gradually consumed day by day as we amass worldly riches in a vain attempt to ward off the inevitable. Whereas the original works relied on a shaft of light penetrating the darkness as a metaphor for the ‘divine’, a fully visible illuminated car headlight in the upper part of the case is Miyazaki’s contemporary take on the tradition. As one gazes into the vitrines, it echoes the experience of a ‘Wunderkammer’, further testament to the artist’s immersion in the history of Western Art.
In response to the redundancy of our supposedly coveted industrial society, the fascination with ruins and the beauty inherent within them has informed Miyazaki’s whole practice from recuperating the relics of a defunct age to the insertion of found objects in his ‘Vanitas’ vitrines.
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