MIYAKO YOSHINAGA art prospects is pleased to present SUPERNATUREAL, a group exhibition that includes work by Osamu James Nakagawa, Ingo Günther, Terry Taylor, Yu Yamauchi and the collaborative team Robyn Voshardt & Sven Humphrey. In Project Room, we feature Landscape 2011; gelatin silver prints by Yojiro Imasaka.
The exhibition is on view from December 15, 2011, through January 28, 2012. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11am to 6pm. The gallery will be closed on December 24 and 31, in addition to our regular holidays.
Representations of natural landscapes-hills and valleys, mountains and canyons, lakes and oceans-are not only inspiring, but also intuitively understood. Throughout history, our interpretations of the natural landscape have shaped our social and cultural terrain. The artists of SUPERNATUREAL challenge conventional landscape photography by exploring sublime images of nature through both artists’ expeditions and an interest in extreme image-making processes.
Osamu James Nakagawa presents a striking vertical image of the so-called “Suicide Cliffs” in Okinawa. Many civilians chose to jump hundreds of feet into the ocean from these cliffs (called “banta” in the Okinawan language) to avoid being captured by American forces prior to and during the World War II Battle of Okinawa in 1945. These hyper-real, highly detailed images of the cliffs were digitally photographed and then seamlessly put together. Based on his own experience of “standing between fear and beauty,” Nakagawa’s “Banta” series (2006) portrays the cliffs as quiet yet powerful witnesses of a tragic history.
Ingo Günther’s “Topography Drive” series (2005/2006) generates a unique perspective on the entire Pacific Rim at the scale of 1:1700.000. At 4 inches high and 500 feet long, this particular rendering of radar-generated elevation model data translates into a dimension that breaks the confines of a traditional gallery or museum space. As a synthetic recreation of the horizon’s shape, these works reveal skeleton-like silhouettes of the mountain ranges that look fragile yet beautiful. This iteration of the work, part of a multi-year on-site investigation of the Japanese coastline and environmental defense structures, features opposite sides of the Pacific paired together: Japan’s east coast and America’s west coast.
London-based Terry Taylor looks for a particular scene in remote places in England’s Lake District by walking. He chooses a scene because he perceives it as a cultural response to the idea of “nature,” which includes ideas of idyll and ownership, experiential aesthetics and the timeless perspective of geological history. Seamlessly constructed from multiple images, Taylor’s work favors distorted perspectives, bending peripheral vision to fit the flat picture plane. In his large-scale print, detail re-enforces references to romantic and sublime landscape painting.
Tokyo-based Yu Yamauchi completed his first major photography series “Dawn” (2006-2009) after spending 600 days at 10,000 feet above sea level at Mt. Fuji. A square-shaped format representing a window or traditional canvas reveals the astonishing colors and patterns of the ever-changing “empty” space between earth and sky. The clouds, both reflecting and absorbing light while constantly changing shapes, fuel the imagination like Rorschach tests in the sky. Some works, in a reversed position, seem like extraterrestrial scenes, suggesting Yamaguchi’s own Copernican discovery in interpreting these transcendent images.
Robyn Voshardt / Sven Humphrey have teamed up to create both still and moving photographic images. Presented here are two videos: “Eternal Return” (2009), in which five different viewpoints of the same waterfall are shown continuously and endlessly; and “Sunshower” (2011), which investigates the meteorological phenomenon after which the work is named. Filmed from an extreme height to create an omniscient view, both works are about extremes: rising and falling; cultural projections vs. personal observations of the landscape; beauty and tragedy; calm and violence.
Osamu James Nakagawa is an associate professor of photography at the School of Fine Arts at Indiana University whose works have been exhibited across the United States and Japan. Ingo Günther has taught at the San Francisco Art Institute and the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne. His works have been exhibited around the world, including Nationalgalerie Berlin, Venice Biennale, Documenta, the Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, the Guggenheim Museum and Kunsthalle Düsseldorf. Terry Taylor lives and works in London, United Kingdom, and graduated from High Wycombe College of Art and Design, Durham University and Bournemouth & Poole College of Art and Design. Yu Yamauchi is a self-taught photographer and received honorable mention at the International Photography Awards. He published his first book, Yoake (dawn), in 2010. Robyn Voshardt and Sven Humphrey have collaborated on video, sound and photo-based projects since meeting at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Their works have been exhibited and screened at galleries and fairs internationally. Originally from Hiroshima, Yojiro Imasaka graduated from Pratt Institute Fine Arts Department, New York. He has exhibited his work in Tokyo and New York since 2007.