jean-michel othoniel sets forbidden garden of mirrored blossom sculptures at perrotin tokyo

jean-michel othoniel sets forbidden garden of mirrored blossom sculptures at perrotin tokyo

from now through october 24, 2020, perrotin tokyo presents a solo exhibition of new works by french artist jean-michel othoniel, including never-before-seen glass sculptures and gold leaf paintings. the artist continues his exploration of nature with the debut of abstract and sensuous artworks — the kiku — with forms inspired by the chrysanthemum flower and its symbolism in ancient japanese culture. mounted on pedestals in a meticulous composition of colors, the installation of elegant blossom sculptures recalls the floral displays the artist encountered during his numerous visits at the bunkyo chrysanthemum festival. with the sculptures configured as precious objects, and calligraphic paintings as icons, othoniel recreates a forbidden garden of chrysanthemums within the gallery — a dream world he named ‘yumeji’ in japanese (translated as ‘dream road’). the word bears a dual meaning: ‘to dream’ and ‘to meet someone you love in your dreams’, as it appears in ancient japanese poems from the 900s A.D.

jean-michel othoniel sets forbidden garden of mirrored blossom sculptures at perrotin tokyo
kiku – ōtaniro (earthen yellow-red-brown), 2020, mirrored glass, stainless steel, 49 x 49 x 47 cm, unique
© jean-michel othoniel / jaspar, tokyo 2020
photo by claire dorn, courtesy of the artist and perrotin

 

 

‘the chrysanthemum is one of the most important and symbolic flowers in japan,’ othoniel says. ‘known as the flower that blooms during autumn as winter approaches, it has come to be a symbol of longevity and rejuvenation. I very much like this idea of a flower blooming against all odds, fighting to marvel while its surroundings have already began to fall asleep. it is one of the last blooming flowers of the year.’

jean-michel othoniel sets forbidden garden of mirrored blossom sculptures at perrotin tokyo
kiku – hiwamoegiiro (siskin sprout yellow), 2019 mirrored glass, stainless steel 39 x 47 x 49 cm, unique
© jean-michel othoniel / jaspar, tokyo 2020
photo by claire dorn / courtesy of the artist and perrotin

 

 

the ‘kiku’ sculptures at perrotin tokyo are organic in form, and lie seemingly somewhere between plants and knots — further alluding to love and the art of ‘knot-tying’ in japanese culture. the enigmatic forms of the reflective knots recall the fatal seductiveness of a trap, while their bright and shimmering hues instantly catch the eye. ‘I always make a point of creating works that stimulate all senses, like a desire to lick or to touch; or creating shapes that evoke sensual pleasure such as ‘the beauty of tight binding’,’ othoniel continues. ‘the attractiveness of mirrored glass playing with the sight of the beholder work as a trap as well, since one can see their reflection in the knot sculpture in front of themselves, giving free rein to their imagination. there is more to this than meets the eye. these flowers with erotic symbolism are attractive yet dangerous, like baudelaire’s fleurs du mal (flowers of evil), or ‘cultured nature’, as one could say.’

jean-michel othoniel sets forbidden garden of mirrored blossom sculptures at perrotin tokyo
kiku – hiwamoegiiro (siskin sprout yellow), 2019 mirrored glass, stainless steel 39 x 47 x 49 cm, unique
© jean-michel othoniel / jaspar, tokyo 2020
photo by claire dorn / courtesy of the artist and perrotin

 

 

the artist further plays with a sense of contrast in his large-format paintings on canvas, where semi-abstract images are made in black ink on layers of white gold leaf. these gigantic hallucinative shadows of flowers reflect a more anxious vision of the world, bringing the viewer into pure abstraction and contemplation. the ‘kiku’ paintings show the artist’s fondness for the art of drawing, which has been at the core of his practice since the beginning of his career.

jean-michel othoniel sets forbidden garden of mirrored blossom sculptures at perrotin tokyo
kiku – hiwamoegiiro (siskin sprout yellow), 2019 mirrored glass, stainless steel 39 x 47 x 49 cm, unique
© jean-michel othoniel / jaspar, tokyo 2020
photo by claire dorn / courtesy of the artist and perrotin

perrotin-tokyo-jean-michel-othoniel-dream-road-designboom-X

detail of kiku – hiwamoegiiro (siskin sprout yellow), 2019 mirrored glass, stainless steel 39 x 47 x 49 cm, unique © jean-michel othoniel / jaspar, tokyo 2020 photo by claire dorn / courtesy of the artist and perrotin

jean-michel othoniel sets forbidden garden of mirrored blossom sculptures at perrotin tokyo
view of the exhibition ‘夢路 – dream road’ at perrotin tokyo, 2020
photo by kei okano, courtesy of perrotin

jean-michel othoniel sets forbidden garden of mirrored blossom sculptures at perrotin tokyo
view of the exhibition ‘夢路 – dream road’ at perrotin tokyo, 2020
photo by kei okano, courtesy of perrotin

jean-michel othoniel sets forbidden garden of mirrored blossom sculptures at perrotin tokyo
view of the exhibition ‘夢路 – dream road’ at perrotin tokyo, 2020
photo by kei okano, courtesy of perrotin

jean-michel othoniel sets forbidden garden of mirrored blossom sculptures at perrotin tokyo
view of the exhibition ‘夢路 – dream road’ at perrotin tokyo, 2020
photo by kei okano, courtesy of perrotin

jean-michel othoniel sets forbidden garden of mirrored blossom sculptures at perrotin tokyo
kiku – kakitsubatairo (rabbit-ear iris color), 2020, monotype on japanese paper, 36 x 24 cm, 1/1 edition + 2 AP
© jean-michel othoniel / jaspar, tokyo 2020
photo by claire dorn, courtesy of the artist and perrotin

jean-michel othoniel sets forbidden garden of mirrored blossom sculptures at perrotin tokyo
kiku – kokushokuiro (black), black ink on white gold leaf, 164 x 124 x 5 cm
© jean-michel othoniel / jaspar, tokyo 2020
photo by claire dorn, courtesy of the artist and perrotin

jean-michel othoniel sets forbidden garden of mirrored blossom sculptures at perrotin tokyo
view of the exhibition ‘夢路 – dream road’ at perrotin tokyo, 2020
photo by kei okano, courtesy of perrotin

jean-michel othoniel sets forbidden garden of mirrored blossom sculptures at perrotin tokyo
view of the exhibition ‘夢路 – dream road’ at perrotin tokyo, 2020
photo by kei okano, courtesy of perrotin

 

 

exhibition info: 

 

artist: jean-michel othoniel
location: perrotin tokyo
exhibition title: 夢路 / dream road
duration: september 16 – october 24, 2020

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