Installation on « Maison Hermès Ginza » façade | temporary installation for solo exhibition « Vanishing Droplets in a River »
Seats, pigments, acrylic binder and gold leaves on glass bricks, 2019
2001 designed building by Renzo Piano Building Workshop architect
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 is 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 traces do they bequeath to us?
text extract from website of Maison Hermès
« The red, orange, and pink lights decorate the surface of the glass blocks, progressing from east in the morning to west in the evening; as they do so, we see the glass glisten as though wet, and we notice the light’s own quality. Inside Le Forum, too, this introduces a red-tinged light into the gallery space.“Fluorite,” the name of the substance that forms the basis of the fluorescent colors I use in the installation, derives from the Latin word “fluere,” meaning “to flow.” From the inside, the installation evokes “layers, the flowing stream of civilization,” which chimes with “the flow of brushstrokes/color (light)/life” generated by the installation both inside and outside. »
– Mari Minato