CONNECTIONS - MEMORIAL EXHIBITION: NOBUO SEKINE & SHANGHAI EXPO PRINTS 2019-06-16
Opening :Jun 20,2019 (Thu) -- Jul 25,2019 (Thu)
Duration :12:00 -- 20:00
Venue :Room 108, No. 3, Lane 1363, Middle Fuxing Road, Xuhui District, Shanghai, China 200031
Tel/Fax : +86 (0)21 5496 1918
Web : http://www.shunartdesign.com
Artist :Aki Fueda   Sun Liang   Nobuo SEKINE   Susumu KOSHIMIZU   Tadanori YOKOO   FANG Lijun   JI Dachun   LIU Ye   Shingo IGUCHI   QU Fengguo   ZHOU Chunya   

For the first time, I heard of "Mono-ha" at the “Shanghai Expo Prints Exhibition” curated by Hong Xin eight years ago. It exhibited four conceptual silk-screen manuscripts of Nobuo SEKINE. 
 
In 1968, the 26-year-old Nobuo SEKINE created "Phase-Mother Earth" at the "First Contemporary Sculpture Exhibition" in Suma Palace Park, Kobe, Japan. Based on the concept of Chinese landscapes, Sekine created the piece by digging a cylindrical pit 2.7 meters deep and 2.2 meters wide on the park grounds, then molding the excavated soil into an enormous cylinder of the same dimensions and installing it next to the pit. The pillar standing on the ground formed a bold contrast to the emptiness of the hole. This piece has become an opportunity for the "Mono-ha".
 
The works of "Mono-ha" artists usually use unprocessed natural materials such as wood, stone and soil to reduce the artificial traces of the pieces. While paying attention to the “relationship” between objects, they also incorporate “space” into the narrative factors. The focus of the discussion is often invisible to the subtle "connections" between objects. According to this, the minimum performance is used to reveal the way the natural world exists and people have the opportunity to re-recognize the "reality" of the world.
 
On May 14 this year, Nobuo SEKINE who is regarded as one of Japan's most important contemporary artists passed away at the age of 77. At the same time of hearing the news, I was reading the "DESIGNING DESIGN"i of Kenya HARA to feel his observation and cognition of objects from the perspective of the design industry. Feeling a strong connection with objects, I want to present Nobuo SEKINE’s pursuit of “objects”ii and “connections” with his four conceptual silk screen manuscripts at the “Shanghai Expo Prints Exhibition” nine years ago and inspire the viewers. The literature of Sekine’s  important solo exhibitions in Beijing and Shanghai will be exhibited with 「Nobuo SEKINE Solo Exhibition——Movement, Feeling, Environment 」by Beijing Tokyo Art Projects (2004) and 「MONOGATARI——Nobuo SEKINE Arts Exhibition」by Shanghai Sculpture Space (2011). The pieces of other 11 Chinese and Japanese artists in the project of Shanghai Expo Prints Exhibition will also be exhibited during the same period. Is their observation, perception, and expression of the world not a kind of “connection”?
 
The piece of “Phase of Nothingness" will also be showed by video, which was Nobuo SEKINE’s work when he was selected as the representative artist of the 35th La Biennale di Venezia in 1970. A giant stone weighing 16 tons was placed on a stainless steel mirrored pillar, the column reflects the view around the environment which almost disappearing from the field of view and the stone seems to float in the air. “Clearly, the goal of Sekine’s environmental art is not to transform art into environment, but to transform environment into art.”iii

Nobuo SEKINE is more willing to appear "free state" of objects, allowing space, materials and ideas to form a complex. Naturally, "space" is regarded as one of the most important factors in the work to speculate. The object is the most direct and simple to touch in life. This exhibition opens the Mini-workshop at the same time, which viewers can arrange natural objects provided on the workbench according to their emotions at the same time, hoping to stimulate a direct interaction relationship and exploration with the world itself. To perceive the space is caused by the flow of time, to perceive the existence of “objects” and the "connections” of the self.
 
MAO, 2019.6.11
 
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Kenya HARA: "A person is a system of feelings that strives to recognize the world. " "The human senses are boldly open to the world. They are not 'receivers' but active, active organs. " DESIGNING DESIGN, 2010

ii Nobuo SEKINE:“I was part of the group known as ‘Mono-ha’ made up of artists who presented objects conveying a sense of substance or matter.”,“Movement, Feeling, Environment” preface,2004
 
 
iii Huang Du: “From Mono-ha to Environmental Art Deciphering the Artistic Vision of Nobuo SEKINE ”,「Nobuo SEKINE Solo Exhibition——Movement, Feeling, Environment 」Beijing Tokyo Art Projects ,2004