展覽名稱 | 許願樹—榆木令子個展
Exhibition | The Wishing Tree—Solo Exhibition by Reiko Nireki
展覽時間 Date | 2013/11/09-12/22
展覽地點 Venue | MOCA Studio
門票 Admission | 免費，free
展覽簡介 About the Exhibition
Reiko Nireki received her artistic training in Tokyo, London and Berlin, and has been in residence programs in Finland and Brazil. Despite her years immersed in different cultures, including giving lectures at Rhode Island School of Design this spring, her art always reflects the craftsmanship and philosophical contemplation of Japanese culture.
Specializing in utilizing paper material, her artworks carry a sense of warmth. The “Forest and Tree Project” that she has been conducting in recent years aims to explore the relationship between humanity and nature through art, and directs the audience’s attention towards the damage and preservation of natural environment. In 2000, she received a grant from the Cultural Affairs of Japan to work in Finland, during which she learned about the local belief related to the forest and nature, which reminded her of the animism in her own culture. Therefore, she started to incorporate her study and cultural comparison in her art and exhibition.
After a two-month residency in Grass Mountain Chateau, in the first room of her exhibition at MOCA Studio, she shows the installation that is comprised of drawings and sculpture, which is a direct result of her observation and travel in Taiwan, learning about Taiwanese people’s worship of big trees. With the kind assistance of the Forestry Bureau, Reiko Nireki visited various precious old trees in Taichung and Chiayi, and personally witnessed the religious ritual of the birthday of the tree god, during which the god will adopt local children as sons and daughters. She realizes that Taiwanese worship of trees is often integrated with the belief in god of the land, and attempts to represent what she has seen and heard in her installation. She invites the audience to enter her work to appreciate the humanistic landscape of Taiwan. At the center of the installation, a ball-like sculpture made of bamboo and recycled paper pulp symbolizes the spirit of the tree and the core essence of the culture. The subtly flowing red light is characteristic of local religion, and the leaves and coins hanging inside the sculpture represent the charms that the sons and daughters of the tree god would receive. The integration of drawings, installations and Taiwanese local customs gives a direct sense of hearty friendliness that does not require much explanation.
The spatial installation in the second room is created based on the religious ritual of the Shintoism. When a tree is felled down to make boats, Japanese people will plant a branch of the tree back on the tree stump, symbolizing the return of life back to the tree and expressing their sincere gratitude for nature. With the paper generously sponsored by the Suho Memorial Paper Culture Foundation, the artist wrinkled, colored, and layered the paper, allowing the audience to experience the appearance of the giant tree and the images of the protector/the sacrificed. By doing so, she reminds the audience to return to our precious nature that is being gradually forgotten, and to contemplate on the sustainable bond between human and nature.