minoru nomata's floating fortress paintings evoke retro-futuristic memories at white cube

minoru nomata's floating fortress paintings evoke retro-futuristic memories at white cube

art 134 shares connections: +520

white cube seoul presents 映遠 – far sights by minoru nomata

 

From 12 January to 2 March 2024, White Cube Seoul presents the inaugural solo exhibition of Japanese artist Minoru Nomata in Korea. The exhibition, titled 映遠 – Far Sights, highlights paintings, created over two decades, that portray visions of buildings, including floating fortresses, inverted towers and houses with sails, set against silent landscapes. The result sees a series of otherworldly architectural spaces, where Nomata draws connections between the boundless possibilities of imagination and the concept of a vast cosmic expanse.

minoru nomata's floating fortress paintings evoke retro-futuristic memories at white cube
Minoru Nomata, Far Sights-2010, acrylic on canvas, 91 x 60.6 cm | 35 13/16 x 23 7/8 in. © the artist. courtesy White Cube

 

 

minoru nomata’s timeless architectural landscapes

 

Born in Tokyo in 1955, Minoru Nomata (find more here) has spent the last four decades crafting a vocabulary of imaginative architectural and topographical forms, giving rise to paintings that transcend the constraints of time and place. The first part of the exhibition’s title, ‘映遠,’ meaning ‘reflecting distance’ in Japanese, encapsulates the artist’s vision of landscapes where towering architectural structures stand in tranquil grandeur. These structures emerge from low horizon lines, blurring the boundaries between Earth and the cosmos.

 

Raised in an industrialized neighborhood in central Tokyo, Nomata’s artistic journey reflects a narrative of urban landscape painting. His influences range from the 20th-century ‘precisionist’ painter Charles Sheeler and Bauhaus luminary Lyonel Feininger to the visual dynamics of Op Art and the fluid aesthetics of Symbolism and Art Deco. Inspired by the atmosphere of generative electronic music and the landscapes found in retro-futuristic science fiction in literature and films, Nomata’s monumental structures give the impression of floating or ascending from flat, desolate terrains. They are bathed in a dramatic, directional light, creating a captivating visual experience.

minoru nomata's floating fortress paintings evoke retro-futuristic memories at white cube
Minoru Nomata, Points of View-31, 2004, acrylic on canvas, 145.5 x 112 cm | 57 5/16 x 44 1/8 in. © the artist. courtesy White Cube

 

 

exploring time, space, and imagined realms at white cube seoul

 

The exhibition at White Cube (finid more here) offers a retrospective of Nomata’s expansive body of work featuring the early Eastbound paintings from the late 1990s, influenced by Japonisme and Eastern aesthetics. The Far Sights series, created in a modest studio space reminiscent of a Chashitsu (Japanese tea ceremony space), explores the connection between imagination and a vast cosmic expanse. In the Seeds series, Nomata employs Old Master techniques, such as chiaroscuro, using color pencil, pastel, and charcoal on gessoed plywood panels inspired by Medieval Icons and Renaissance painting. The Rectangular Drawings and Ghost series from the mid-2010s depict buildings inverted at their base, suggesting floating fortresses or dream remnants. Nomata’s silent landscapes, devoid of identifiable markers, portray diverse conditions—from nuclear ruination to cosmic infinitude, industrial glare to the waxing and waning of solar energy. In these works, human ambitions intersect with the boundlessness of an unknowable universe.

 

minoru nomata's floating fortress paintings evoke retro-futuristic memories at white cube
Minoru Nomata, Forthcoming Places-6, 1996, acrylic on canvas, 91.3 x 56.5 cm | 35 15/16 x 22 1/4 in.© the artist. courtesy White Cube

minoru nomata's floating fortress paintings evoke retro-futuristic memories at white cube
installation view | image by Buyn Cheol Jeon © the artist. courtesy White Cube

minoru-nomata-white-cube-designboom-full-01

Minoru Nomata, Eastbound-25, 1999, acrylic on canvas, 60.1 x 196.2 cm | 23 11/16 x 77 1/4 in. © the artist. courtesy White Cube

minoru nomata's floating fortress paintings evoke retro-futuristic memories at white cube
installation view | image by Buyn Cheol Jeon © the artist. courtesy White Cube

minoru nomata's floating fortress paintings evoke retro-futuristic memories at white cube
Minoru Nomata, Eastbound-3, 1999, acrylic on canvas, 72.9 x 116.8 cm | 28 11/16 x 46 in. © the artist. courtesy White Cube

minoru nomata's floating fortress paintings evoke retro-futuristic memories at white cube
Minoru Nomata, ascending descending-8, 2018, oil on canvas, 80.5 x 41.3 cm | 31 11/16 x 16 1/4 in.© the artist. courtesy White Cube

minoru nomata's floating fortress paintings evoke retro-futuristic memories at white cube
installation view | image by Buyn Cheol Jeon © the artist. courtesy White Cube

minoru nomata's floating fortress paintings evoke retro-futuristic memories at white cube
Minoru Nomata, Far Sights-7, 2009, conté crayon, charcoal and pastel on paper (BB Kent) 72.8 x 51.5 cm | 28 11/16 x 20 1/4 in. © the artist. courtesy White Cube

minoru nomata's floating fortress paintings evoke retro-futuristic memories at white cube
Minoru Nomata, Far Sights-3, 2009, Conté crayon, charcoal and pastel on paper (BB Kent) 72.8 x 51.5 cm | 28 11/16 x 20 1/4 in. © the artist. courtesy White Cube

 

 

1/6
Minoru Nomata, Far Sights-2, 2009, Conté crayon, charcoal and pastel on paper (BB Kent), 72.8 x 51.5 cm | 28 11/16 x 20 1/4 in. © the artist. courtesy White Cube
Minoru Nomata, Far Sights-2, 2009, Conté crayon, charcoal and pastel on paper (BB Kent), 72.8 x 51.5 cm | 28 11/16 x 20 1/4 in. © the artist. courtesy White Cube
Minoru Nomata, Ghost-8, 2014, oil on canvas, 73.2 x 50.5 cm | 28 13/16 x 19 7/8 in. © the artist. courtesy White Cube
Minoru Nomata, Ghost-8, 2014, oil on canvas, 73.2 x 50.5 cm | 28 13/16 x 19 7/8 in. © the artist. courtesy White Cube
Minoru Nomata, ghost-2, 2014, oil on canvas, 130.8 x 80.6 cm | 51 1/2 x 31 3/4 in. © the artist. courtesy White Cube
Minoru Nomata, ghost-2, 2014, oil on canvas, 130.8 x 80.6 cm | 51 1/2 x 31 3/4 in. © the artist. courtesy White Cube
1
 
1
 
1
 

project info: 

 

exhibition name: 映遠 – Far Sights
artist: Minoru Nomata
location: White Cube Seoul (6, Dosan-daero 45-gil)

KEEP UP WITH OUR DAILY AND WEEKLY NEWSLETTERS
suscribe on designboom
- see sample
- see sample
suscribe on designboom

PRODUCT LIBRARY

a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

designboom will always be there for you

milan, new york, beijing, tokyo,  since 1999
X
5