New Forms of Life: Artist Talk by Nawa Kōhei

新しい生のかたち:アーティスト 名和晃平トーク

Watch a recording of this event in the player above.

Take the opportunity to get a special behind-the-scenes insight into the work of leading Japanese artist Nawa Kōhei, as part of a programme of events in conjunction with Japan House London’s previous exhibition Symbiosis: Living Island.

The artist shares his thoughts about creating site-specific works in Japan and sheds light on his ongoing projects around the world in this special live online presentation. He begins with Biota (Fauna/Flora), which is displayed on the island of Inujima in Japan’s Seto Inland Sea as part of the Inujima ‘Art House Project’. Nawa created the work in F-Art House, one among several open-air galleries on the island.

Kyoto-based artist Nawa Kōhei is known as a multidisciplinary artist who challenges the boundaries between virtual and physical space in surreal, semi-abstract multimedia works. For the work exhibited in the Inujima ‘Art House Project’, he used variously shaped small art objects that remind us of plants and animals, as well as sculptures made from diverse materials. As a result, Biota has become a dynamic installation, with various elements, encompassing countless works as well as the building itself and its courtyards.

About the Speaker 

Nawa Kōhei

Sculptor / Director of Sandwich Inc. / Professor at Kyoto University of the Arts

Born in 1975, and based in Kyoto, Japan, Nawa Kōhei received a PhD in Fine Art/Sculpture from Kyoto City University of Arts in 2003, and established Sandwich in 2009. He is now a professor at the Kyoto University of the Arts.

Focusing on the surface “skin” of sculpture as an interface connecting to the senses, Nawa began his PixCell series in 2002 based on the concept of the cell, symbolizing the information age. Adopting a flexible interpretation of the meaning of sculpture, he produces perceptual experiences that reveal the physical properties of materials to the viewer through works addressing themes related to life and the cosmos and to artistic sensibility and technology, including Direction, in which he produces paintings using gravity, Force, in which silicone oil pours down through a space, Biomatrix, in which bubbles and grids emerge on a liquid surface, and Foam, in which bubbles form enormous volumes.

Recently, Nawa has also worked on architectural projects, including the art pavilion Kohtei. VESSEL, a performance work produced in conjunction with Belgo-French choreographer and dancer Damian Jalet, has been presented around the world since its premiere in 2015. In 2018, his sculpture Throne was exhibited under the Pyramid at the Musée du Louvre in Paris, France. 

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