Hiraki Sawa "Lineament"
This event has ended.
Sawa attracted attention through his film work "dwelling", shown in 2002, and since then he has exhibited his works worldwide while being based in London. In his early works, he produced phantasmagoric works with allegorical images within daily settings, such as his own apartment. In recent years, he has been pursuing the possibility of film expression by producing video installation works in which the exhibition space is composed of multiple images and sound.
Lately, inspired by the experience of a friend with amnesia, Sawa has been undertaking a new project called "Figment", in which he inquires into the nature of memory and remembering. Interested in how the "gaps" that come from memory loss can rock reality, Sawa asks, "Doesn't the fact that memory loss can make you forget even what certain foods taste like show how very dependent we are on memory?" In this latest new video installation "Lineament" Sawa gives us the figure of a man looking back on his memories from a room in which the borderline between fiction and reality wavers back and forth, drawing our attention to how ambiguous the idea of "normal" really is.
This exhibition offers a fine opportunity to see this new approach by Hiraki Sawa as he moves from the expression of spiritual landscapes deeper into the realms of surrealism.
[Image: Hiraki Sawa "Lineament" (2012) Video installation, 18min 47sec. Courtesy of Hiraki Sawa]
From 2012-04-07 To 2012-06-17
As metaphors for the nature of memory and its loss, some of the individual images from Sawa's video (most notably some involving string and holes) are among the most powerful and emotionally evocative I've ever seen. By any artist.
They could be presented as individual pieces in an exhibition and stand alone with incredible impact. Another piece in the show, what first appears to be a single vinyl record, demonstrates the strength of such individual ideas.
Unfortunately their effectiveness feels somewhat diluted by their presence within a 19 minute surreal narrative in which at times it seemed that appearing surreal and enigmatic was the artist's main intent. Too many other images feel forced and over-stylised.
The result is an interesting and highly polished production, but not necessarily a powerful one.
That said, Sawa is definitely moving into some territory here which adds weight and profundity to his body of work.