For the Japonismes 2018 season in France and as part of their on-going collaboration initiated two years ago, the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature
and Villa Kujoyama in Kyoto present a solo exhibition dedicated to Kohei Nawa.
A major figure in contemporary Japanese art, the artist is in the spotlight this autumn in Paris with the sculpture Trône on exhibition at the Louvre Museum as part of the Japonismes 2018 season. The works found throughout the permanent collections in the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature revisit the theme close to the artist who attempts to renew sacred imagery. For this purpose he mixes elements from traditional Japanese culture notably references to Shinto cults with images from contemporary technology. In this way, PixCell-Deer transforms the perception of what a deer is a sacred animal in ancient Japan by taking a taxidermic example and covering it completely with glass balls, thereby fragmenting its silhouette. At the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, the work opens a dialogue with the images of deer found in western culture, which are already present in the permanent collection.
For his residence in Villa Kujoyama in 2015, Kohei Nawa worked with the French-Belgian choreographer Damien Jalet, who himself was heavily influenced by Japanese tradition and Shugendo rites. This shared experience gave rise to the work Vessel where the human body is used as an abstract sculptural material, with the tangle of limbs giving birth to brand new shapes that are reflected in a mirror of water. The video recording this ballet is presented along with the museums hunting weapons, located near the sculptures, which inspired Kohei Nawa.
Born in 1975 and currently living in Kyoto, Kohei Nawa graduated from the Kyoto Arts University in 1998 with a doctorate. He created SANDWICH, a creative platform for production in 2009. He explores the potential of sculpture by working with beads, polyurethane foam, silicone oil and a wide selection of other technologies and materials with his original PixCell concept. Nawas recent projects expand this exploration to architecture and performance to create both space and art. The artist is represented by the Scai the Bathhouse gallery in Tokyo.
Villa Kujoyama was built in 1992 by the architect Kunio Kato and today it is one of the oldest and most prestigious artistic research residency programmes in Asia. Villa Kujoyama is an establishment that is part of the French Institute of Japan and is supported by the Fondation Bettencourt Schueller and the French Institute.