To live is to change. We change daily as our cells regenerate and we learn new things, as times change and we encounter new environments, and as we give play to our imagination. Under the theme "transformation," this exhibition explores the boundary between humans and non-humans. In all ages and countries, countless images and artworks have been created on the theme of transformation. Japan, in particular, is brimming with rich images on this theme, from the legends of old to the manga and anime characters of today.
So, why "transformation" now? With the spread of the Internet, the development of the global economy, advances in technology, and so on, the traditional forms "humans" take have started to become blurred, and a diversity greater than anything seen before has begun to emerge. At this exhibition, a variety of images of things that traverse the human and non-human – including animals, machines, imaginary creatures and bodies with different genetic compositions – will be unveiled through paintings, sculptures, video, archives and symposiums. Together, the "transforming" forms presented express as a single omen our hopes, dreams and fears. The artworks, created by 21 individual artists and groups from 15 countries over a period stretching from the 1980s through to the present, will demonstrate the possibilities and meanings of change today.
WHAT IS TOKYO ART MEETING?Tokyo Art Meeting presents a range of possibilities for new art by facilitating encounters between various genres of expression, mainly in the field of contemporary art but also including design, architecture and other specialist fields. Under the theme "transformation," the first meeting sees art encounter anthropology. Also, in cooperation with Tokyo University of the Arts, a range of displays, performances and symposiums will be held as part of Tokyo Geidai Trans Week with the aim of helping nurture future generations.
Shahzia Sikander Nemesis 2003 Courtesy: the Artist and Sikkema Jenkins & Co, New York
ARTISTS (in alphabetical order)
AES + Fã
The Cape of Transformation
By Shinichi Nakazawa
The mode of our existence is being drastically transformed by hyper-technology. Nanotechnology makes it possible to etch the absolute minutest image our intellects can imagine directly onto a physical material. The processing capacity of digital information is quantifying the world to an unprecedented scale and depth. The Internet is swiftly weakening and dismantling the mode of the social intermediary, a form once most vital for human existence. Hyper-technology now has direct access to the body and the nervous system, and this unification is completely transforming the very form of existence itself.
Jagannath Panda The Epic-III 2010 Courtesy: NATURE MORTE, New Delhi
Moreover, a critical limit has been set by hyper-technology’ s transformation of human existence. By promoting rationality, grammaticality, purposiveness, uniformity, and demystification, today’ s hyper-technology, which is in fact an extension of modern technology, has narrowed its horizon for the future, where the technology’ s tip, or “a cape of transforming existence,” touches and perceives, in one direction per avance.
We have organized this exhibition in order to point out the power of art that faces this kind of hyper-technology of today. The cape of transformation that is opening up within human existence must jut out into a sea of coincidence, multidimensionality and diversity. The ocean spray must spew out in every direction as the seawater crashes into the tip of this cape. That which sets sail from this point has no destination. As we swim through the ocean of imagination, man transforms into animal, into plant, even into unknown object.
We believe we must transform the landscape of the cape created by the transformation that hyper-technology is trying to induce and reclaim the fascination of human existence. That itself is art. Art as the ars of existence. Standing at thetip of the cape of technological transformation, which is the reality we face, we shall transform this landscape into an unknown terrain of chance and pleasure. We believe that now only “ars for trans-transformation” deserves to be called “art” .
Tokyo Metropolitan Government/Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo,
Tokyo Culture Creation Project
(Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture)/
The Tokyo Shimbun/Tokyo University of the Arts
In special cooperation with:
Institute for Art Anthropology
British Council, Flanders Center
In cooperation with:
NEC Display Solutions, Ltd. YAMATO INC
Yuko Hasegawa, Chief Curator (MOT)
Shinichi Nakazawa, Co-Curator (Anthropologist)