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$4000 to

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Thursday, 19 April 2018 to Friday, 25 May 2018
Thursday, 19 April 2018 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

In Ancient Japan, when political chaos and a series of natural disasters occurred, the people believed the last days of this world were near. To calm their fear and despair, they filled sacred prayer sites with bright and bold mythical flowers, believed to bloom throughout the afterlife. Those flowers were called Housouge (pronounced Housou-gae). The bigger the fear and despair, the more colorful and immense the flowers.

Unison, a series of sculptural photographic work, features my interpretation of the mythic heavenly flowers or Housouge. The blossoms are constructed from motifs scanned directly from girls’ vintage kimonos. They are both cut and then reassembled by hand, and include toy parts, plastic flowers, imitation gold, sequins, and various other objects that recall my own childhood in Japan. The use of the kimono goes beyond being just a reference to my cultural heritage, it signifies a dying cultural tradition as the use of this traditional garb has all but disappeared and is relegated to a symbolic gesture reserved for special and rare occasions. Choice of objects and toys are also direct references to my own childhood, which was saturated with objects that directly referenced American pop culture. Elements of the two opposing cultures are intertwined creating a strained and unique harmony that is illuminated through the constructed blossoms.

The ominous mood and the idea of Mono-no-Aware (the awareness of impermanence) has been cast onto my recent works, always hinting at reincarnation and its association with death. As a natural progression, my focus has shifted to expand and decipher the life after death. The blossoms that are threaded throughout Unison represent a vision of Bardo, where the soul floats between life and death, a state similar to the Western idea of purgatory. This in-between state echoes my own existence - a cultural hybrid somewhere between East and West.

This exhibition has been made possible with grant from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, and Faculty Enrichment grant from School of the Art Institute of Chicago.     



Artist ( Description ): 

Mayumi Lake is an interdisciplinary artist, whose work delves into childhood and pubescent dreams, phobia and desires. She employs herself and others as her models, as well as dolls, toys, weapons, vintage clothes, and altered landscapes as her props.

Mayumi received her BFA with a focus in Photography and Filmmaking, and MFA in Photography from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, and has published 2 monographs from Nazraeli Press. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Fine Arts, Huston, Asia Society, Joy of Giving Something Foundation, and more.

212 268 7132
Venue ( Address ): 

547 West 27th Street 2nd Floor
New York NY 10001-5511, USA

Miyako Yoshinaga Gallery , New York City

Other events from Miyako Yoshinaga Gallery

04/19/2018 to 05/25/2018


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