past exhibition

Yoi Kawakubo and Nao Matsunaga:
Time Capsule

15th March –
10th May 2024

Conversation with
Yoi Kawakubo and
Nao Matsunaga

3 May 7pm - 9pm

We are pleased to announce a talk event with Yoi Kawakubo and Nao Matsunaga in the evening of 3 May. Co-organised with the Japan Society. All is welcome. Please book from here to secure your place.

About the exhibition

Yamamoto Keiko Rochaix is pleased to announce a duo exhibition of Yoi Kawakubo and Nao Matsunaga featuring photography, ceramics and works on paper. The works embody the memory of the past within media, transporting audience through time, from past, to the present and into the future.

Yoi Kawakubo's series, 'If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the skies’, features prints enlarged from film buried near the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant following the 2011 earthquake. The hues of the images emerge not from light exposure; according to Kawakubo, they are caused by factors such as intense radiation, humidity, and even fungi at each burial site. This argument is juxtaposed to the series' title, drawn from the Hindu holy text Bhagavad Gita and quoted by Robert Oppenheimer who led the project to produce the world's first atomic bombs. It encourages viewers to reflect on the intricate relationship between nuclear technology, environmental impact, and the artistic process.

Matsunaga, on the other hand, positions his works as veritable records of actions, dispositions and circumstances. Emphasizing the significance of physicality in the creative process, Matsunaga's intuitive approach involves meticulous actions such as slap-building, muscle engagement, and constraints due to material properties. Specific actions or the lack thereof, becomes a part of the artistic consciousness. Each piece of ceramic, wood carving or painting work reflects the artist's journey, capturing subtle nuances of being a cultural minority most of his life. These pieces are fragments of time in a physical form.

Yoi Kawakubo (Toledo, 1979, lives and works between London and Tokyo)

In Kawakubo's spatial installations based on historical research and references to literature, all topics are complexly interconnected through his personal experience. He makes use of a wide range of media, covering from photography to architectural interventions, including video, perfumes or cocktails.Some of his recurring themes extend to examinations of the nature of finances, nuclear power, genetics or land property. These questions are grounded on fundamental questions of philosophical nature such as the ontology of human identity, consciousness or reflections on the limits of representation.

Kawakubo will be the subject of a solo exhibition at Maruki Gallery for the Hiroshima Panels, Saimata, Japan from late 2024. Recent solo exhibitions include Quo Artis Foundation, Barcelona (2022), Yamamoto Keiko Rochaix (2018), Koganecho Site-A, Yokohama (2017), Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, London (2016), Shiseido Gallery, Tokyo (2015). Public collections include Ohara Museum of Art, Arts Council Tokyo, Development Bank of Japan, Hiroshima Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo University of the Arts

Nao Matsunaga (Osaka, 1980, lives and works in London)

The practice of Nao Matsunaga is informed by his interest in early man and how they shared primitive cultures across the world before language was created, and how these practices continue to shape our lives. The artist has been aspiring to capture these universal primal elements, firstly with ceramics, the media for which he has established his artistic career and reputation, but in recent years Matsunaga's artistic language has diversified to include wood, stone sculpture and painting.

After completing BA (Hons) at University of Brighton and MA at Royal College of Art, Matsunaga has exhibited in the UK and internationally. His recent solo shows include: Komagome Soko, Tokyo, Yamamoto Keiko Rochaix (2022), Token Art Center, Tokyo (2020), and Marsden Woo, London (2020, 2017, 2015, 2011), New Arts Centre, Salisbury (2019, 2017), Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, London (2012). Public collections includes Victoria and Albert Museum, York Museum and Art Gallery, Brighton and Hove Museum, Shipley Art Gallery and Craft Council UK.