"When Lives Become Form: Dialogue with the Future - Brazil, Japan"

When Lives Become Form: Dialogue with the Future - Brazil, Japan

This exhibition, "When Lives Become Form," draws attention to the common threads witnessed in art and culture of Brazil and Japan where form is created from life/lives to enrich our living. The two cultures have developed and enjoyed their own contemporary creativity respectively, while both developing "modernism of periphery" based on their attitudes to life through delicate yet bold mixture of cultures. The exhibition will also articulate the similarities and differences of these two cultures. Commemorating the 100 years of the Japanese immigrants to Brazil, it will be an opportunity to re-investigate two cultures that have been deeply related with each other.

* The Japan Foundation, São Paulo Website

Outline
Period and Venue: April 10 – June 22, 2008
Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo (The Museum of Modern Art of São Paulo)
Organizers:

The Japan Foundation
Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo

Cooperator: Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo
Curator: Yuko Hasegawa (Chief Curator of Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo)
Sponser: Japan Air Line

Exhibition Concept

The 21st century has seen the new beginning of the relationship between art and life. The late capitalism encouraged the vigorous consumption of information and materials at differing levels in our daily life. Art has come back down to earth from the highbrow discourse in order to resist such a structure of consumption and to enrich human life and awaken our subjectivity once again. Re-awakening the role of art in our everyday life may offer us a good chance to re-investigate the artistic elements already submerged in life in a relative way.

Art can vitalize our daily life in an intellectual and sensual manner. Suppose that there is a culture that is practicing art in life, but in a totally different way. When we see Brazilian culture, it is characterized by unique modernism developed since the first half of the 20th century. Especially since the 1950s, it made a stunning development reflecting socio-political propagandas in all fields of architecture, design, and art. Now when we turn our eyes to its street culture, it is filled with indigenous culture that can be named as "vernacular pop." It is driven by a power that avariciously mixes and hybridizes various cultures sprung from people's life and body in urban streets. As Fernando Campana, one of the members of the Campana Brothers comments, "I learned from the streets. It's amazing. People can transform the found objects on the street in the evening into great art in the following day."

In Japan, there has been a similar tendency in the idea of relating art to everyday. Japanese people have cultured their sense of aesthetics in their daily life and practiced art in many aspects of living. For example, furnishing a space for tea ceremony and exhibiting paintings had been dealt with on the same level, thus blurring the distinction between high art and low art. This horizontal structure of culture has been resonating with those prominent cultural phenomena since the 1990s including multiculturalism and interdisciplinary creative activities such as crossing between design and art, which has contributed to producing unique and rich ways of expression. In particular, pop culture such as animation (anime), manga, and clippings of music, has become one of the great sources of creativity.

This exhibition, "When Lives Become Form," draws attention to the common threads witnessed in art and culture of Brazil and Japan where form is created from life/lives to enrich our living. Thus, this exhibition introduces a wide range of contemporary artistic activities, not just constrained to visual arts, but including interdisciplinary approaches in the field of architecture, fashion, design, moving images, and performance, in an attempt to exemplify the profound sprit that contributes to revitalizing our life and living. The two cultures have developed and enjoyed their own contemporary creativity respectively, while both developing "modernism of periphery" based on their attitudes to life through delicate yet bold mixture of cultures. The exhibition will also articulate the similarities and differences of these two cultures. Commemorating the 100 years of the Japanese immigrants to Brazil, it will be an opportunity to re-investigate two cultures that have been deeply related with each other.

Participating Artists

40 artists from Brazil and Japan will be presented under the following themes/sections.

  1. (1) Proposal of vibrant ideal spaces for public
    Ruy Ohtake, Hélio Oiticica, Shigeru Ban
  2. (2)Proposal of new inner/spiritual space for individuals in urban environment
    SANAA, Lina Bo Bardi, Ana Maria Tavares, Kiichiro Adachi
  3. (3) Individual messages transmitting political and public meanings: poetic micropolitics
    Leonilson, Ryoko Aoki, Zon Ito, Cildo Meireles, Genpei Akasegawa, André Komatsu, Marepe, Lucia Koch, Yuken Teruya
  4. (4)Design-art crossing: transformation of everyday material
    The Campana Brothers, Tokujin Yoshioka
  5. (5) Fasion-art crossing: inviting people who ware clothes to participate in the design, emphasis on variability of materials, immateriality and spirituality
    Jum Nakao, ISSEY MIYAKE
  6. (6) Discovery of new order, geometric and meta-structure from daily scenes
    Lygia Clark, Katsuhiro Yamaguchi, Rivane Neuenschwander, Beatriz Milhazes, Haruka Kojin, Mira Schendel, Atsuko Tanaka, Tomie Ohtake, Takehito Koganezawa
  7. (7) Appropriation from pop culture
    Rogerio Degaki, chim?pom, Isabela Capeto, Aya Takano, osgemeos, Assume Astro Vivid Focus, Motohiko Odani, Mariko Mori
  8. (8) Music-art
    Ruy Ohtake, Hélio Oiticica, Shigeru Ban

Work(Hoops)
Atsuko Tanaka
Work(Hoops), 1963
Courtesy of Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo

Agua-viva
Marepe
from series of Agua-viva, 2005
Cortesy of Galeria Luisa Strina

A-POC GALAXY
ISSEY MIYAKE
A-POC GALAXY, 2007
Photo: Cary Wolinsky
Courtesy of MIYAKE DESIGN STUDIO

Sushi Ⅲ Chair
The Campana Brothers
Sushi Ⅲ Chair, 2002
Courtesy of Campana Studio

9th Room
Motohiko Odani
9th Room, 2001
Courtesy of YAMAMOTO GENDAI

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