kohei nawa: 'L_B_S' at maison hermes ginza, tokyo kohei nawa: 'L_B_S' at maison hermes ginza, tokyo
jul 10, 2009

kohei nawa: 'L_B_S' at maison hermes ginza, tokyo

kohei nawa: L_B_S maison hermès ginza, tokyo june 19th to september 23d, 2009

‘pixcell – elk #2’, 2009 mixed media image © OMOTE nobutada courtesy of the hermès Foundation

the current exhibition at le forum at the maison hermès ginza in tokyo, presents the work of japanese artist kohei nawa, known for his ideas of ‘skin’ and ‘cells’. he is known for his pixcell series, the ‘skins’ of objects such as taxidermied animals, sneakers, musical instruments, toys and fake fruit taking on new phases. countless transparent glass beads encase these objects, forming a new interface between these things and us. the glass beads are ‘cells’ that skew our tactile memories and conventional visual notions we have of these objects.

the show is entitled ‘L_B_S’ which stands for ‘liquid, beads and scum’ which represents three phases of growth for nawa’s cellular skins: liquid, beads, scum.

the skin of the elk made up of glass bead cells image © OMOTE nobutada courtesy of the hermès foundation

beads of glass are affixed to and mediate objects. motifs used for the sculptures are gathered from the internet. entering specific keywords in the search engine results in the display of a myriad of unexpected related images. they cover the surface of these motifs with transparent spheres transforming them into ‘shells of light’. layers of countless ‘cells’ alter the texture and color of the original object, dissolving it into a pixelated image converted and saved into a sculptural format – ‘pixcell’ – a re-assemblage of element of image.

the beads provide a skin of transparent spheres image © OMOTE nobutada courtesy of the hermès foundation

detail of the glass beads

‘villus’, 2009 mixed media image © OMOTE nobutada courtesy of the hermès foundation

scum: motifs which could not be transformed through the pixcell process are used in the villus series. the objects are subjected to a controlled airflow where they are exposed to a spray of polyurethane resin which chemically reacts in the air. as the particles attach to the skin of the motifs, they become the cell and behave like fur, covering the object in a villi-type manner, causing its volume to expand. the contours and texture of the original weightless image are diminished through the process and gradually disappear within the expanding impassive volume.

the skin of the motifs is transformed into a furry coating image © OMOTE nobutada courtesy of the hermès foundation

detail

detail

detail

booklet for exhibition

‘pixcell_saturation #2’, 2009 mixed media image © OMOTE nobutada courtesy of the hermès foundation

liquid indicates the fluid maternal space from which the cell bubbles form. by illuminating the layer of silicon oil a grid of bubbles is revealed. sensation and images emerge from the neutral white interface. as the constant flow of stimulation reach its maximum point of saturation, the work has an anesthetic effect towards the viewer.

a grid of bubbles is illuminated image © OMOTE nobutada courtesy of the hermès foundation

kohei nawa was born in osaka, japan in 1975. he graduated from the kyoto city university of art, ph.d. specializing in fine art, sculpture. he lives and works in kyoto, japan.

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

    (6 articles)

    art news