“DEERMAN ODYSSEIA ”
Place：nca | nichido contemporary art
Date：Fri.14th Mar – Sat19th Apr. 2014
Gallery Open：Tue – Sat 11:00 – 19:00 （Closed on Sun, Mon and national holidays）
Opening reception: Friday. 14th Mar.18:00 – 20:00
nca | nichido contemporary art is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new works by Japanese Artist, Nobuhiro Ishihara.
Regarding the contemporary cities we live in as composed of countless layers of people’s thoughts and feelings, as well as old memories and past events, Ishihara created the character “Deer man” to act as a pilot who plunges in to explore those deep layers. In recent years, Ishihara travelled extensively in and out of Japan to participate in residence programs and exhibitions in countries such as Austria, South Korea, Greece and Brazil, creating works based on the things and events that the Deer man, his alter ego, witnessed. The Deer man continues to transform being influenced by the various narratives and events that he encounters as he travels around the world.
In this exhibition, the artist attempts to bring to the surface those unfamiliar layers that exist deep below our feet by randomly arranging the events he observed during his nomadic wanderings.
According to Nobuhiro Ishihara, Deer man was born out of the shock he experienced when he went to see the Omizutori (water-drawing) festival in Nara in 2005, and came up against deer that appeared to him as if they wandered back and forth between a sacred domain and reality as they roamed about in the night with glittering eyes.
Deer make appearances in mythologies and folk stories around the world as mediators between nature and civilization, or between animals and men, that can move beyond time and space. The Deer man, who combines this animal with a man (woman), scampers around disparate layers going wherever his interests leads him, unearthing deep strata to produce new images.
Through the Deer man, Ishihara’s interest in ancient Japanese mythologies expanded to include mythologies and folk stories from around the world, along with the history that continues to be alive in every locality. During each stay in New York, Gyeonggi-do and Incheon in South Korea, Mykonos in Greece, or Sao Paulo in Brazil, Ishihara created a Deer man that was peculiar to the place where he was staying, based on the history of the place as well as people’s memories. In Sao Paulo, the Deer man was generated by ingesting the characters that appear in the mythologies that were gathered at the workshops held for local residents. The fact that many depictions of the Deer man portray horns made of plants and flowers is also suggestive of a link with the oldest living organism on earth.
Showcased in this exhibition is the Deer man as symbolic of an existence that can move back and forth between different layers, rather than of a specific place. It is possible to discern however, an influence from his experiences in the Tohoku region that include producing works in Iwaki, Fukushima, in 1999, and later revisiting Fukushima for relief activities after the Great East Japan Earthquake. The dragon-like organism that was painted in Iwaki was regenerated by wrapping it around a windmill at the Mykonos Biennale held in Greece last year, but for this occasion, it was instead fragmented to allow it to rise back within the Deer man, almost as a prayer for the repose of those souls that were lost due to the disaster.
We human beings are always under the pressure to act efficiently while making the best use of regulations and systems imposed on us by contemporary society. This principle forgets and leaves hanging in midair the facts that we too are a species that inhabit the earth and that the earth does not function according to man-made laws. There is no room for doubt that human concepts of value are meaningless to the history of the Earth. This is why the Deer man attempts to seize back a sense of unity with the earth by burrowing deep in to the earth and mingling with the chaotic domains of the unconscious.
Born 1966 in Kanagawa Japan. Currently lives and works in Tokyo
Ishihara obtained his BS degree from Keio University, Tokyo and BFA degree from the School of Visual Arts, New York, NY.
Solo Exhibitions: nca | nichido contemporary art, Tokyo(2009) I-20 Gallery, New York(2008), Nagamine Projects, Tokyo(2002), Iwaki City Art Museum, Fukushima(2001), Group Exhibitions: VAIVÉM, SESC Pinheiros, São Paulo, Brasil (2013), Mykonos Biennale 2013, Mykonos, Greek (2013), Echigo Tsumari Art Triennale 2012,Niigata, Japan(2012), Sompo Japan Museum of Art, Japan(2011), Island, Gyeonggi Creation Center, Korea(2010), Incheon Art Platform, Incheon, Korea(2010), forum experimentelle architekur, Vienna, Austria(2010), ufts University Art Gallery, Boston, US(2009), Luxe Gallery, New York(2007), Okay Mountain, Austin, US(2007), Gallery, The Miyagi Museum of Art, Miyagi(2003)
Associate Curator at Mori Art Museum. 2013 and 2014’s Guest Professor at Seian University of Art and Design. Tsubaki Reiko graduated from the Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies at Kyoto University (Creative and Behavioral Science) and completed a DEA degree (Contemporary Art Criticism) at the University of Paris Ｉ Pantheon-Sorbonne. She joined the Mori Art Museum in 2002. She was in charge of number of exhibitions, including “Archilab”, “Africa Remix”, “Medicine and Aｒｔ” and “French Window”. In the “MAM Project” series, she curated No.007, No0.11, No.016, No019 and preparing No.022. Outside of the Mori Art Museum, she curated “agnès b in Gion” (2004, Kyoto), “ShConemporary B.O.D.” (2008, Shanghai) , “The Cosmos as Metaphor” (2012, Kyoto), “Identity-curated by Reiko Tsubaki-” at nca | nichido contemporary art (2013 Tokyo). She also writes and gives lectures.