| EN |

METAMORPHOSIS - Objects today: Vol.2 Transmutable objects - Motohiro Tomii × Nobuhiro Nakanishi
Written by Takeshi HIRATA   
Published: August 06 2009

fig. 1 Nobuhiro NAKANISHI "Boundary Model 6" (2006); gypsumg, courtesy of allery αM, copy right(c) Nobuhiro NAKANISHI

fig. 2 Motohiro TOMII "wrap(color sample) #3" (2009); courtesy of gallery αM, copy right(c) Motohiro TOMII

fig. 3 Nobuhiro NAKANISHI "Layer Drawing - Aomori Sunrise" (2008); laser print and acrylic, courtesy of gallery αM, copy right(c) Nobuhiro NAKANISHI

fig. 4 Motohiro TOMII "air (octagon)" (2009); courtesy of gallery αM, copy right(c) Motohiro TOMII

fig. 5 Motohiro TOMII "Gold Finger" (2007); courtesy of gallery αM, copy right(c) Motohiro TOMII

fig. 6 Nobuhiro NAKANISHI "Stripe Drawing on Wall / Cave" (2009); pencil, courtesy of gallery αM, copy right(c) Nobuhiro NAKANISHI

     When I walk through a construction site, “sculptures” draw my attention. This may be because steel and wood frames reveal the construction of a building which appears in front of us as a mere abstract body. We cannot imagine that such a body will transform itself into a house or building which we often see in our daily lives. There are special disciplines and techniques to be used to change materials to complete a house and living space. In the exhibition entitled “Transformation - Realistic Materiality Today - Vol.2: Changing Materiality -” (gallery αM), creations which were made by Motohiro Tomii and Nobuhiro Nakanishi showed us a new form of “construction” created through the transformation of materials.

     Motohiro Tomii created works by stacking up ready-made sponges, connecting straws, piling up segments of AirCaps and sticking uncounted numbers of thumbtacks to the wall. Although his “creative” acts seem to be simple, he has certainly succeeded in showing works which were made by selecting so-called “sculptures”, using their own textures and expressing structures of space through his creations.

     Nobuhiro Nakanishi presented several different series of creations, such as the “Stripe Drawing” series, which were created by drawing untold numbers of pencil lines on the wall; the “Layer Drawing” series, in which ink-jet print photographs were laid or folded on transparent films in the form of layers; and the “Boundary Model” series [fig. 1], in which boxlike plaster figures were hollowed out in a form which resembled moth holes. There are various other kinds of works which have been created by him, including paintings and video pictures. It can be said that Nakanishi has been making all of his creations with the aim of expressing folds or blanks within spaces.

     Here, let me presume that Tomii structures materials additively and Nakanishi does it subtractively. In other words, using terminology from the field of techniques used for sculptures, Tomii’s method would correspond to modeling and Nakanishi’s would be the same as carving. For example, Tomii creates a space which is occupied by materials to an unimaginable extent. The accumulation of off-the-shelf products, which are displayed in the gallery, covers the exhibition room to an unpredictable and indescribable extent. Using an additive method, Tomii succeeded in creating a strange and puzzling space by collecting together many examples of one type of material which is considered as a trivial thing in our everyday lives. In addition, he uses ready-made things as materials, which contributes to adding a humorous image to his creations. You may have found such a mood in the “wrap (color sample) #3” (2009) [fig. 2], in which a cylindrical work is created by rolling up narrow vinyl tapes which are different in color. Another characteristic of Tomii’s creations is that he makes them of such a size that we can get at an overall view of their “structures (scales)”. Tomii expresses changes of the world through creations which are at the same level as our height.

     On the other hand, in some of Nakanishi’s works, such as in the “Layer Drawing - Aomori Sunrise” (2008) [fig. 3], he has expressed a gap or blank space. In this creation, we can see photographs, which have been printed out on acrylic plates using a laser printer, but we only see them only from their sides, not in full view. Nakanishi generates a sense of distance by creating slight spaces between materials, which makes viewers move their bodies to a position from which they can look at his creations. Again, we would never be able to view his works entirely. Nevertheless, you should take care not to misunderstand the meaning of this phrase. By this phrase, I want to say that we cannot get an overall view of his works in that it is difficult for us to recognize the image of his works from one aspect. Therefore, we cannot grasp the entire image of his creations without moving our bodies within the exhibition space where they are displayed. Because of this, we always find a missing image in his creations, from every aspect. In the work entitled “Layer Drawing - Sunrise” (2007), which was shown in the exhibition named “Roppongi Crossing 2007: Future Beats in Japanese Contemporary Art” (Mori Art Museum, 2007), he displayed each acrylic plate in a slightly different position to express a curving line as a whole, which contributed to showing us a “structure” into which we cannot look deeply.

     Nonetheless, it is noteworthy that Tomii and Nakanishi have one thing in common in terms of creating a “structure” by collecting materials. Tomii visualizes the shapes and colors of his creations as “structures” by laying down or accumulating various kinds of materials, such as AirCaps, drivers and sponges. Also, in the “Layer Drawing” series, for example, Nakanishi created a horizontal or vertical “structure” by arranging transparent acrylic plates at regular intervals. Both of them visualized “structures” through their works. In addition, Nakanishi structured even viewers’ experiences, such as limiting the viewing range and specifying the positions in which viewers stand to look at his works by clarifying the “structures” of his creations.

     Furthermore, guessing from the “structures” created in their works, they have included architectural or temporary formations. For example, Tomii’s “air (octagon)” (2009) [fig. 4], which was created by stacking up AirCaps, gave us a temporary image, in contrast to a permanent image that is created by displaying and storing art works. Also, Nakanishi’s “Stripe Drawing on Wall / Cave” (2009) [fig. 6], which was made by covering a wall in striped patterns, was displayed in a temporary style. Seeing this work from a distance, we could not identify clearly what was depicted in it. Such thin drawings made us wonder whether we were looking at the wall or the drawings because of the display style in which negatives and positives seemed to be reversed. This made us consider the creation - architectural structure - as an assembly of conductors.

     Nevertheless, the objects viewed in this exhibition were not “architectural structures” but “sculptures”. Needless to say, their works cannot be described using only technical terms, such as carving or modeling, which are used for sculptures, and my critical essay here is also only a hypothesis (a temporary building). However, it can be said that, through this exhibition, in which creations made by Tomii and Nakanishi were displayed together , the “sculptures” combined with each other as if they were negatives and positives respectively, and transformed themselves into other formations, and therefore, raised a never-solved question about “sculptures”. This transformation of their creations is what has the greatest impact on viewers.
(Translated by Nozomi Nakayama)

Last Updated on July 14 2010

Related Articles

| EN |