Yurie Nagashima + Miyo Stevens-Gandara “Forever is Composed of Nows”
[Image: Miyo Stevens-Gandara “Night walking, Indiana” (2011) archival pigment print ©Miyo Stevens-Gandara / MAHO KUBOTA GALLERY]
This event has ended.
This exhibition brings together works that give insight into the creative origins of Yurie Nagashima and Miyo Stevens-Gandara with works representing current threads or pointing to future directions in the careers of the two artists. The idea of putting on a joint exhibition came to the pair suddenly, during one of their conversations. After spending time during their twenties together in California, when they were both heavily influenced by the riot grrrl movement, the two artists were separated when Nagashima moved back to Japan. Since then, they have continued exploring the possibilities of artistic expression on opposite sides of the Pacific. Nagashima’s preoccupation with the relationship between self and other, as well as the issues associated with being a female artist, have come together in her artistic focus on the course of women’s lives. Stevens-Gandara, while teaching at Rio Hondo College in Los Angeles, creates work around the themes of feminism, identity, and environmental destruction.
Representing Nagashima’s early work are five skateboard works made in 1997 while the artist was living in America. These mixed-media pieces were realized by coating actual skateboards with photographic emulsion and directly printing photographs onto their surfaces. Also exhibited are several of Nagashima’s botanical photographs captured over the last few years in various locations around the United States, presented for the first time. Several pieces from Stevens-Gandara’s Wunderkammer series make their Japan debut, along with distinctive work from her ‘The Wilderness of Childhood’ series, which depicts scenes from the Indiana and Kentucky countryside that are deeply interwoven with her childhood memories. In addition to her photographs, embroidery works entitled “In Mourning” are exhibited.
If all of the works making up this exhibition are the culmination of these two artists’ daily insights and thoughts, they also present a picture of the great changes the world has undergone over the past twenty-something years and some of the many problems it has faced. One thing that the pair’s recent work seems to have in common is a particular attitude to artistic creation—that of taking a step back from the gushing torrent of worldly affairs and retreating to a place of mental solitude, so as to take one’s time and create at one’s own pace, without being carried along by others. Appropriate, then, that the title of this exhibition is drawn from “Forever—is Composed of Nows,” the work of 19th century American poet Emily Dickinson.