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Hiraki Sawa: New Video Works

James Cohan Gallery
533 West 26th Street, 212-714-9500
April 22 - June 3, 2006
Reception: Saturday, April 22, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

Sawa, a Japanese artist living in London, uses video animation to create poetic dreamscapes that are ruminations on ideas of time and movement; innocence and alienation; dislocation and displacement. These themes are evident in his work of the past 5 years, including the widely exhibited Dwelling, 2003, where the artist’s apartment serves as both a domicile and international airport with miniature jets gliding past everyday household objects and surroundings.

In Going Places Sitting Down, an English country home serves as the stage where graceful rocking horses are the main characters. A perfect object for playing out Sawa’s themes, the rocking horse has the capability to be in perpetual motion without ever really going anywhere. Projected onto three large-scale screens, the miniature horses move fluidly on an enchanted journey through the metaphysical terrain of the domestic interior. They navigate what becomes a vast magical landscape, floating in the current produced by a dripping faucet and galloping along what first appears to be a snow-covered forest but is, in fact, a sheepskin carpet.

In Murmuring, Sawa is interested in simultaneously exploring the rhythms of the living space and those who inhabit it. Images of plants, animals, and fireworks are drawn directly on to the surfaces of a domestic interior. Sawa animates these images and in doing so suggests the ephemeral nature of their fleeting reality.
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