Whitestone Gallery Hong Kong is pleased to present an exhibition of works by Japanese artist Naoko Tosa. As a pioneering media artist, Tosa is internationally renowned for her use of cutting-edge technology to produce works that channel traditional Japanese culture. Curated by Junji Ito, the exhibition showcases innovative media works from series such as ‘Sound of Ikebana’, ‘Genesis’ and ‘Space Flower’ as well as a new series entitled ‘Four Gods’. These works will be presented alongside a selection of her digital photographs. The exhibition combines art and science to capture the invisible beauty of the world we live in.
Tosa’s 1985 video artwork, entitled ‘An Expression’, features sound she generated using a light sensor which reads the brightness of a TV monitor. It broke new ground for video artwork and it was acquired by MoMA New York. Tosa’s most celebrated creation, ‘Sound of Ikebana’ (Ikebana: the Japanese art of flower arrangement) is an extension of this previous work. She passes sound vibrations through colored fluids like paints and oils and captures the mesmerising movement of colors via high-speed camera. The organic, elegant movements are displayed in colored textures carefully selected according to cultural-historical color iconography. ‘Sound of Ikebana’ was projected on the exterior wall of ArtScience Museum in Singapore in 2014 and on over 60 billboards in Times Square, New York in 2017 (in partnership with the Japan Society Gallery and Times Square Arts).
While maintaining her aesthetics as Japanese, Tosa explores the origin of all beings with ‘Genesis’. By capturing the movement and interaction of Japanese ink and dry ice bubbles inside a highly viscous fluid, she re-creates the fluctuating but alluring moment of creation itself. The artist explains it is a “hyper-natural form of art” that is too complicated to grasp and can only be captured using a high-speed camera with 2000 frames per second.
Tosa’s ‘Space Flower’ series is a homage to Rimpa, a historical school of Japanese painting founded in Kyoto in the 17th century. Dramatic composition, luxurious use of precious substances like gold and pearls and backgrounds of gold leaf are common features of Rimpa. While being inspired by the originals and making the best of them, the subject matter rapidly switches off, for example, from Japanese Oiran (the highest ranked courtesans arose in the early Edo-period) to jungles in space. Two works from this series, ‘Thunder God’ and ‘Wind God’ are Tosa’s homage to Great Master of Japanese painting, Sotatsu Tawaraya’s famous piece ‘Wind God and Thunder God.’
Whitestone Gallery Hong Kong will transform itself into a multimedia environment for this exhibition, with high-tech equipment generously provided by TELMIC Corp. and USHIO Lighting Inc., allowing Tosa’s work to be experienced in the most dynamic manner possible.