loading video...

artist eugene kangawa on creating wastelands, referencing a space odyssey, and exploring symbiosis

after the rainbow

 

the canopy of trees, swaying against the breeze of the cool morning, surround eugene kangawa as he tends to his sculpture at the core of the greenery. the hum of the violin escorts the american-born artist’s contemplation with his art, one of his installations displayed in his first solo exhibition at the museum of contemporary art tokyo (MOT) under EUGENE STUDIO. titled after the rainbow, the exhibition dives into the perspectives, ideas, and philosophies that underlie eugene’s diverse body of work.

 

a word that describes one of the main themes of the exhibition is symbiosis, perhaps slightly different from the way the word is usually used,says kangawa during his interview with the museum.I like to think of it as an expression of the state of all things being together, if you will: self and others; differing opinions; what can be accepted and what is hard to accept; the beautiful and the not-so beautiful; people and nature; a moment in time and all of eternity; light and shadow. it is not one thing or another, but each always exists together. it is a symbiosis in that sense.

symbiosis and the existence of self and others highlight the themes of artist eugene kangawa’s exhibition
EUGENE STUDIO, beyond good and evil, make way toward the wasteland., 2017 © eugene kangawa

 

what we believe in

 

the show explores fundamental questions such as what we can believe in, and what we can and cannot share with others in a reality where everything seems to happen simultaneously. the flow of the exhibit’s pieces reminds the viewers of these fundamental questions as they walk through the exhibition rooms. old and new bodies of work flush in the same space, the interplay between the balm of harmony and the tension of devastation.

 

an example of destruction appears in beyond good and evil, make way toward the wasteland (2017). debris of the homes and buildings carpet the museum’s floor. remnants of the dwelling’s former glory still adorn the destruction, but every object is dusted with concrete powder. the work reproduces a pure white room in the final scenes of stanley kubrick’s 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey through the process of destruction. enclosed in glass cases, objects seek refuge inside such as dust-covered chairs, a bed, cabinets, chipped marble pillars, oil painting, and other weathered items which appear to be from an old forgotten room.

symbiosis and the existence of self and others highlight the themes of artist eugene kangawa’s exhibition
EUGENE STUDIO, beyond good and evil, make way toward the wasteland., 2017 © eugene kangawa

symbiosis and the existence of self and others highlight the themes of artist eugene kangawa’s exhibition
EUGENE STUDIO, beyond good and evil, make way toward the wasteland., 2017 © eugene kangawa

 

the pillars of self, the seen, and the unseen

 

the passage to a more tranquil environment sweeps in. the artist’s white painting series (2017 – present), where people kiss on a pure white canvas, constructs the spiritual pillars of love and faith, the blank slate encouraging a sense of belonging in a community. eugene’s recent works still anchor the aura of the seen and the unseen by infusing serenity and simplicity in the imagery.

 

everything reflects the shining light toward me (2021), for instance, demonstrates a large-scale, gold-covered canvas with specks of yellow, a reflection of the contrasting lights where a shade surfaces over the other. the colors of the sea and its undulating spectrum visit light and shadow inside me (2021). as the shades shift from white to stark blue, the imagery overviews the balance of the human psyche, the marriage of personal lightness and darkness that completes the being’s entirety.

symbiosis and the existence of self and others highlight the themes of artist eugene kangawa’s exhibition
EUGENE STUDIO, beyond good and evil, make way toward the wasteland., 2017 © eugene kangawa

symbiosis and the existence of self and others highlight the themes of artist eugene kangawa’s exhibition
EUGENE STUDIO, beyond good and evil, make way toward the wasteland., 2017 © eugene kangawa

 

existing together

 

as eugene explains the exhibition,after returning from the united states, I grew up in kobe and kyoto. when I was about five, there was the great hanshin earthquake. in elementary school, there was 9/11. during university, the tohoku earthquake and tsunami. there had been the advent of the internet, sns, and digital technology. then, we’ve seen movements growing surrounding issues of diversity or climate change, with people having differing opinions about these quite tangible situations. it became clearer to me that the only truth is that everything is existing together.’

symbiosis and the existence of self and others highlight the themes of artist eugene kangawa’s exhibition
EUGENE STUDIO, critical (2021)

symbiosis and the existence of self and others highlight the themes of artist eugene kangawa’s exhibition
EUGENE STUDIO, critical (2021)

symbiosis and the existence of self and others highlight the themes of artist eugene kangawa’s exhibition
EUGENE STUDIO, critical (2021)

 

eugene-studio-designboom-banner

EUGENE STUDIO, rainbow painting series (2021)

 

1/4
EUGENE STUDIO, light and shadow inside me (2021)
EUGENE STUDIO, light and shadow inside me (2021)
from the series of white painting, 2017 © eugene kangawa
from the series of white painting, 2017 © eugene kangawa
from the series of white painting, 2017 © eugene kangawa
from the series of white painting, 2017 © eugene kangawa
from the series of white painting, 2017 © eugene kangawa
from the series of white painting, 2017 © eugene kangawa

project info:

 

name: EUGENE STUDIO after the rainbow

artist: eugene kangawa

museum: museum of contemporary art tokyo (MOT)

ART INTERVIEWS (78)

EXHIBITION DESIGN (243)

PUBLIC ART (517)

SCULPTURE (263)

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