Mari Minato “Vanishing Droplets in a River”

Maison Hermès

poster for Mari Minato “Vanishing Droplets in a River”
[Image: Mari Minato Utsuwa *The preparatory study of the facade painting | 2018 | © Baptiste François]

This event has ended.

The Fondation d’entreprise Hermès presents the first exhibition in Japan of Paris-based artist Mari Minato (born 1981, Kyoto Prefecture). Minato creates works in which she paints abstract motifs, using vivid colors, directly onto buildings; since moving to France in 2006, she has exhibited her works in both solo and group exhibitions, most of them in that country.

“Vanishing droplets in a river” features conventional gallery exhibits, but the exhibition also sees Minato paint on Maison Hermès’s glass block façade, in her first attempt to capture the shifting flow of time and light inside and outside a building. Returning to the origins of various civilizations, Minato takes an interest in what people throughout history have shared, or forgotten, and gives new expression to their traces and distortions. While they suggest bold, improvised movements, her paintings actually derive from meticulous research and observation, based as they are on sketches that she has made of the site before getting to work.

“Utsuwa (Vessel),” which will be painted on the building’s façade ahead of the exhibition at Maison Hermès Le Forum, was inspired by the universality of pots — which have been so important to human civilization — as well as the image of a glass building incorporating its surroundings while coexisting with changes in time and light. In the gallery, the displayed works are centered on a number of motifs that played significant roles in different civilizations and cultures, from the Yellow River civilization to the Mesopotamian, Egyptian, and Islamic worlds.

Minato takes an anthropologist’s perspective, expressing all the layers of the cultural fusion and mutual exchange that she discerned while researching everyday articles: statues made of stone, terracotta, bone, iron, and ceramic; talismans and other religious artifacts; pots and tools. These meditative works carefully consider the flow of time since the olden days when populations settled temporarily, building their homes then moving on, guided by buildings and nature. What do the works reveal about history? What relics do they bequeath to us?



from March 28, 2019 to June 23, 2019


Mari Minato



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