About the Exhibition
One’s view of life and death varies. Some believe that death is not an ending. As rain becomes the river, the sea, the clouds, and rain again, our memories circulate forever, changing their forms, becoming flesh, bones, earth and flower. There is a saying in Japan, “Life comes and goes” that we must accept our fate. However, in modern society, there is a tendency to detest old age, sickness, and death.
Tokushige’s “Honebana” series is his lifework as an artist. This is his act of confronting life and death, and setting out on a journey in search of a new way of regeneration, and the pacification of the spirit.
Why does he choose to take this method? Nature has a systematic cycle. Spring comes after winter, flowers blossom and die, evening follows morning. Life returns to soil and regenerates. His work is an attempt to synchronize with nature’s cycle.
The bones and fur he uses for his works are those of frozen rodents, sold to feed other pets. The rodents are born and killed in sterilized boxes,without a notion of a blue sky. Tokushige reflects this state, on our perspective on nature, and view on life. He skins and takes out the bones of each frozen rodent, and creates bone flowers, takes pictures, develops them, and returns his works to earth. He respects their lives and turns them into beautiful flowers. This ritualistic process transforms the eerie to the beautiful. This time, Tokushige will surprise us with his new experimental exhibition “Dialogue”. One day, Tokushige receives a shocking e-mail from abroad that says “I am looking for an artist to donate my bones to once I die.” The text messages exchanged by the artist and this new collaborator is somewhat different from his previous works. However, as we read along their dialogue, we will discover the same construction and serenity as the “Honebana”.
GALLERY KOGURE NEW YORK is probably the smallest exhibition space in the world. This reminds us of the narrow space of Eastern countries and the riches the spiritual world brings. When you see our artwork, we hope you will feel your own existence disappear and expand infinitely. We will venture to emphasize the narrowness of Tokushige’s exhibition space, to enable our viewers to observe his artwork deeply.
To connect equivocal elements is always an important theme in my artwork. The beautiful and the ugly, the holy and the unholy, absence and existence, creation and destruction, animals and pants, color and monochrome, and finally, life and death.
Our society has become bipolar than ever before. Is this good or evil? An enemy or a friend? I believe my role as an artist, is to think about the two senses of values and reconnect them.
Nature has a systematic cycle. Spring comes after winter, flowers blossom and die, evening follows morning. Life returns to soil and regenerates. My work is an attempt to synchronize with nature’s cycle.
My first experience of expressing myself was through photography. Roland Barthes defined photography as “that-has-been”. This definition has always been the basis of my art, since I started studying as a student, till this very day as an artist. Like Land Art, Christo andJeanne-Claude, Thomas Demand, I take pictures and leave no trace of my works, and try to reconfigure from an oriental interpretation.