The installations of Yumi Kori invite the viewer’s participation within the exhibition. Her simple motifs, which incorporate reflective and translucent materials, produce a soothing ambiance that gradually penetrates the viewer’s senses. Kori, who is also an architect, alerts us to our surroundings and transforms an existing setting into a new environment in which space appears to expand and dematerialize into infinity.
For this exhibition entitled Matsukaze, Kori explores her favorite medium: light. In a fresh take on the neon sign, she fashions her own unique lighting vessel from hand-blown glass and fills it with xenon gas. The pattern, strength, and hum of the light changes as the voltage fluctuates. Rays of light appear and disappear, following ever-changing pathways through the glass. In Kori’s words, the lights are dancing, and the glass, singing.
While a single one of these xenon light vessels reminds us of a glowing creature in a cocoon, arranging them in a group of various sizes and shapes creates a fascinating room-sized organic musical instrument. Wandering through the exhibition space, we are immersed in a shimmering dimension of our own creation. The artist’s own interpretation of the experience is wind (“kaze”) blowing through a pine forest (“matsu”), an ancient metaphor often associated with eternity in Japanese culture. By naming this installation “Matsukaze,” the artist invites the viewer to travel through time and space within the exhibition.
Born in Nagoya, Japan, Yumi Kori studied architecture at Kyoto Prefecture University and Columbia University. Since 1999, her installation work has been exhibited in Japan, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Brazil and the United States. U.S. venues include the Mattress Factory, PA, Japan Society, NY, List Art Center at Brown University, RI, and ISE Cultural Foundation, NY. Kori’s work was also featured at the Museum of Modern Art Bahia, Salvador, Brazil in 2008. In addition to her critically acclaimed installation projects, she taught Japanese architecture at Columbia University and Barnard College from 1996 to 2005. Since 2003, she has also designed stage sets for Sally Silvers and Dancers.