Tomomi Nitta “Hanging Gardens”

Yuka Tsuruno Gallery

poster for Tomomi Nitta “Hanging Gardens”
[Image: Tomomi Nitta "Infinite Set 43" (2016) 139 x 206.5 cm (or variable), oil, crystal powder on canvas, Photo by Geraldine Kang]

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For her first solo exhibition at Yuka Tsuruno Gallery in two years, Tomomi Nitta will present the “Hanging Gardens” series that she introduced in Singapore last year at Japan Creative Centre, Embassy of Japan in Singapore. The series combines elements relating to Singapore and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon with her exploration of human existence. Nitta has consistently expressed human existence as an aggregate of ever-changing infinite sets, through anonymous and abstract female figures on white canvases. Since moving to Singapore in 2015, she has noticed that such an approach also fits her experience of her new home, which has rapidly grown as a city-state due to its rational planning and development.

With the exhibition title “Hanging Gardens,” Nitta draws a parallel between Singapore, where large trees, tropical plants and concrete structures coexist and intertwine with each other, and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. According to the ancient legend, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, which were counted as one of the Seven Wonders of the World by ancient Hellenic culture, was comprised of a series of large tiered gardens constructed with highly advanced ancient engineering technology. It was built, so it is believed, to console a queen who did not want to marry into a desert kingdom. It was probably the kind of architecture that required constant irrigation and maintenance, or else it would have turned to sand immediately. Nitta has stated that her initial impression of Singapore reminded her of these “Hanging Gardens”. This is understandable, as Singapore creates an artificial “Green Lung” (i.e. gardens) in its dense urban space by adeptly planting trees. While this certainly reflects the contemporary urban discourse of green urbanism, it is also a political performance for producing Singapore’s raison d’être as a new city-state that originates in the ideal of being “Garden City,” advocated by then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew in 1967.

Moreover, “Hanging Gardens” can be understood as a metaphor for our very existence. The human body is maintained by an immune system that protects it from the outside world and the ability to constantly renew cells. When this process stops, our bodies die and return to matter. Existing as “Hanging Gardens,” in the process of the life cycle, we ourselves are constantly building the meaning of our existence and our environment.



from 7月 01, 2017 to 8月 05, 2017

Opening Reception on 2017-07-01 from 18:00 to 20:00


Tomomi Nitta



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