"Musashino Art University 80th Anniversary: Metamorphosis -Objects Today- vol.3 Formation of 'something like'"
at Gallery αM
in the Bakurocho area
This event has ended - (2009-07-25 - 2009-09-05)
My plans to crawl through Jun Aoki’s swampy installation at Taro Nasu were scuttled by two weeks of closed doors, and so I ducked in to nearby Gallery αM (pronounced “alpha em”), the basement exhibition space in Bakurocho run by Musashino Art University, to explore the mixed-media sculptures inhabiting the small space until September 5th.
“Metamorphosis – Objects Today” celebrates Musashino Art University’s 80th anniversary by displaying work that explores the changes material objects go through on their way to becoming sculpture. Volume 3, entitled “Formation of ‘something like it’,” showcases work by sculptors Takahiro Kamimura and Takaaki Izumi.
There’s not a lot of newness or complexity here, but there is plenty of color, exuberance and pop. The pieces, which include a battered television antenna hung upside down and strewn gleefully with ribbons, crushed balloons hanging from a nail, and a gleaming surf board on a stand, are presented cleanly and sparely in the white, basement space.
One standout piece immediately beyond the entrance is a fluorescent structure of plastic, orange chicken wire spelling the word “WALL” in block capitals. It is a captivating study in clash, that defines the thing it is pushed up against, rather than the sculpture itself.
Also excellent, a cube of pastel petroleum cans, placed within a compartmentalized, clear plastic cube. Each can in ivory, blush pink and mint green assembles a unique identity for itself from its angles, and from its position in the multi-layered cube. The piece, which is as large as a kitchen table, has a raw energy to it, as if the sculptures have been purposefully frozen in the midst of rapid prototyping.
This is highly palatable contemporary art. Conceptually, Kamimura and Izumi come in at the ground floor, at least in this exhibit, but the core elements that define the foundations of Japanese pop art are all present: bright colors, machine parts and recycled materials, design elements and a gleeful desire to experiment with the line between precision and play. It is sculpture distilled, concentrated and utterly pleasant to stroll through.
“Metamorphosis Vol. 4” begins September 12th, and features work by Yuuichi Higashionna.