Tomoko Sawada – School Days



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MART curators Matthew Nevin & Ciara Scanlan, in conjunction with Japan World Exposition 1970 Commemorative Fund, are delighted to present the exhibition School Days by famed Japanese Artist Tomoko Sawada.

Preview: Thursday January 12th 2017 @ 6pm

Location: The MART Gallery, 190A Rathmines Rd, Lwr, Dublin 6.

Runs to: Feb 24th 2017

Open: Tues-Sat: 1-6pm 

In Conversation: Tomoko Sawada – An interview with the Artist & Curators.

Photo Gallery: MART on Facebook.

TOMOKO SAWADA (b. 1977 Kobe, Japan) uses photography to explore the relationship between one’s inner life and outer image. Sawada’s works borrow compositional devices from familiar photographic formats such as the school portrait, weddings, and fashion photography, restaging them in a satirical mode to lay bare their various stereotypes and assumptions. Contemporary portraiture can communicate various attitudes towards identity, status, individualism, time, place, culture and other connected ideas of the self. Since the late ‘90s the artist has used her performative self-portrait as a means of opening up discussion or as an enlightening tool for personal discovery, evoking the essence of ‘real’ people within a controlled environment. Sawada’s work has a sense of familiarity, comforting but also unsettling in its realism and closeness. The digital manipulation of her work feels real and her characters, believable. All of these elements culminate in a photographic document of Japanese society and the individuals that encapsulate it.

Sawada’s filmwork ‘MASK’ {2006}, a performance to camera, is projected in large format demonstrating the artist’s ability to create striking transformations of her own identity. Her own facial integrity reconstructs through 60 altering faces, as she peels off each new personality one after another. Sawada explores the relationship between one’s inner life and outer perception from society, experimenting and highlighting the artist’s skill as a costume, make up, technical and theatrical artistry of identity manufacturing. The work acts as an exploration of social, cultural and personal assessment in a contemporary society that pushes female characteristic falsehood and stereotypes on a global interconnected society.

Courtesy of MEM, Tokyo, Sawada presents her 2004 work ‘School Days’, through a series of classically framed photographs depicting several large group class portraits. Sawada impersonates hundreds of students in the series along with the typical teacher either side of each group. Wearing identical school uniforms Sawada successfully creates a large volume of individual characters by altering each person’s attire, accessories, makeup, stance and facial expression slightly, creating a series of prevailing students. The series references a tradition of bi yearly photographs taken seasonally in school from Kindergarten right up to High School graduation in Japan. Sawada set out to homogenize both her education and teenage personalities, showcasing elements of times in her own and fellow students lives of taking a risk of breaking strict school regulations and attempting to become someone different from her own self.

Also on view is selection of Sawada’s 2001 work ‘OMIAI♡’. In this photography series Sawada transformed her own personality, character and body through the aid of costumes, makeup and wigs to explore the traditional Japanese custom of ‘OMIAI’: a tradition in which individuals are introduced to each other through staged, professional photographs for the possibility of marriage, pending approval of their respective families. Either partner attempting to analyse who she/he is. Sawada intentionally both mimics and represents several stereotypical female identities, pushing the viewer to see not just a figure, but framing these new identities that sit between fantasy and reality.

Sawada has been a recipient of the Grand Prize at the Canon New Cosmos of Photography, the ICP Infinity Hyogo Arts Award and the prestigious Kimura Ihei Memorial Photography Award.

Exhibitions {Selection}: MEM / Tokyo, Pace/MacGill / New York, Rose Gallery / LA, Kulturhuset / Stockholm, Colette / Paris, Fundacio Joan Miro / Barcelona, MAK / Vienna, Gallerie P / Brussels, Culturgest / Lisbon, Musee de ‘LElyssee / Lausanne, Museum of Contemporary Photography / Chicago, Kawaskaki City Museum, Museum of Modern Art New York, IMMA / Dublin, The Getty Museum / LA.

Permanent Collections {Selection}:  The National Museum of Modern Art / Kyoto, The Getty Museum / LA, Maison Europeenne de la Photographie / Paris, The Museum of Modern Art / New York, Los Angeles County Museum of Art / USA, MAK / Wien Austria, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art / USA. Hyogo prefectural Museum of Art / Japan, National Gallery of Art / USA, SAMMLUNG VERBUND / Austria.

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Adam Gibney




Visit: adamgibney.com

View: Artist CV | Artist Portfolio | Artist Reviews

Artist Statement

I engage with sound, sculpture and electronics in my practice as a means to dissect and manipulate language. The work grapples with parts of knowledge generated by Modern Physics that are hard to imagine or convey in words as certain theories or principles are non-intuitive. I am interested in how our symbolic descriptions of reality, even the axiomatic, have proven to be only temporary and tentative.

The solid formal structures that held truth now exist precariously within the newfound multitudes of reality.  The rigorous quest for certainty seems to only expand the terrain of uncertainty. Man has created an abstract language in Mathematics to convey underlying governing principles of our reality, and in so doing a platonic world is created. This world can often become difficult or impossible to convey in everyday language; it is in these places that our imagination and perception are tested.

To delve into the ambiguous nature of the language we use to describe these inherently uncertain fields, I create generative code and installation. Through the programming of interactive code, which embodies scientific principles and quandaries, I aim to overcome the difficulties of uncovering fundamental truths about the world through the abstract manipulations of words and concepts. Using a minimalist approach to installation design, I try to manoeuvre the use of technology for aesthetic and physical application.

 Biography

Adam Gibney is a Dublin based artist who graduated from IADT in 2010. He was the recipient of the IMOCA Graduate Award, the Aileen MacKeogh Award and the Siamsa Tíre Emerging Artist Award. His solo exhibitions include Limbo-Excavated (2011), RE:definition (2012) ,  Exercises of an Audionaut (2014) and Euclid, I miss you…(2016). Other notable exhibitions include Futures (Royal Hibernian Academy, 2014), The Reverberatory (Queen Street Studios, 2013) and Around a Volta (Chateau de Servieres, 2011). His work has been exhibited across Europe and America. In 2014, Adam collaborated with actress Caitríona Ní Mhurchú on Eating Seals and Seagulls Eggs, which was shown at the Dublin Fringe Festival (Project Arts Centre) and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (The Pleasance). From 2014 to 2016, he also worked as a part-time Assistant Lecturer in Fine Art New Media in the School of Creative Arts at DIT Grangegorman. In July 2016, Adam represented Ireland in the V Moscow Biennale for Young Art – Deep Inside. Most recently, Adam exhibited alongside Brian Duggan in The Voyage in CB1 Gallery, Los Angeles.

RECENT EXHIBITIONS

 Echo Chamber – EUCIDA 2017  Ireland, France, Latvia  June 2017
 Solo Exhibition  Gachang Art Studio, Daegu, South Korea  September 2017
 Jealous Wall   Luan Art Gallery, Athlone, Ireland  September 2017