PRESS RELEASE OC: Dogs in a Room

25 July-17 August 2015, Komyoji-kaikan 
2-1 Higashitsuchido-cho Onomichi-shi Hiroshima Japan

In the summer of 2015, ONLY CONNECT will present OC: Dogs in a Room, the inaugural exhibition of an exhibition series taking place in cities around the globe over the course of the next five years. Each exhibition is a survey of artistic cultural differences and potential conflict and integration within the era of multiculturalism. The shows will explore how pluralism can be expressed in contemporary art practice and how this may be read in a variety of contexts.

The central focus of OCDogs in a Room is to examine the boundaries between individual art works, artists and spatial or architectural elements within the form of an exhibition. In OC: Dogs in a Room, the relationship between each artist and the control they have over their art’s experience by the viewer will be on the brink of collapse. 

The exhibition will aim to create a situation in which turmoil rules and to undermine traditional concepts of individual or communal displays of artwork. Among the artworks, the viewer will encounter quadruped objects created from abandoned furniture and construction materials excavated from the derelict houses on the hillsides of Onomichi. Large wheels will give these creatures the mobility to patrol the space, resembling the wild dogs which prowl the surrounding countryside. Nine artists have been invited to interact with this four-legged furniture and the venue’s history and structure.

The magnified disharmony of the environment is designed to both perplex and challenge viewers and artists, leading to new possibilities in the reading and experience of the work. The overall effect should be mysterious and chaotic; drawing visitors on a disorientating journey which leads them to question how they should interact with the artwork and to what extent creation relies on individualism to enforce its identity.

Participating artists: Mayako Hakusui, Lee Hochoul, Yutaka Inagawa, Andreas Kressig, Nicola Morrison, Mouhitori (artist duo), Tomoe Murakami, Hayato Sugii, Akira Yasuda. 

The exhibition will coincide with the exhibition of UK artist Emily Speed at Room A, Komyoji-kaikan as part of Indefinable Cities, a series of travelling exhibitions to be held in the UK ( Stoke-on-Trent) and Japan (Kanazawa, Hikone, Osaka, Uno, Onomichi, Kochi, )  

For further information, please contact Komyoji-kaikan on  +81 (0)50-1537-5353 or Email: aironomichi@ybb.ne.jp  

Produced by ONLY CONNECT [Directors: Yutaka Inagawa, Mouhitori (Tamaki Ono & Kiyohito Mikami), Hitomi Kanemoto]  © ONLY CONNECT 
OC commissioned Hayato Sugii to create the furniture/ fixtures exclusively for the exhibition.
ONLY CONNECT is generously supported by Fukutake Foundation, THE ASAHI SHIMBUN FOUNDATION, Asahi Art Festival 2015 (Hosted by AAF Network Executive Committee, Co-sponsored by Ashahi Breweries, Ltd. Assisted by Ashahi Group Arts Foundation) and in partnership with AIR 2015, Indefinable Cities, Open Air Museum 2015, AIR zine and AIR CAFÉ

Mayako Hakusui (b.1981) employs mythological narratives from Japanese polytheism in her paintings and sculptures. Cardboard animal ‘masks’ appear at once sculptural and also as mutated paintings, where the surface has been folded and wrestled into life, like a mythological beast given life through  the imagination. The results are an uncanny and bizarre manifestation of local divine beasts. 

Yutaka Inagawa (b.1974) deals with ideas of multi-parallel entities in a digitized society, using digital collage as a pivotal element of his diverse practice. Phantom like creations take shape as paintings, drawings, prints, sculpture, animation and mixed media installation to coalesce into a vibrant image of transformation. A library of digital collages constitutes hundreds of chimera built up over a decade. 

Andreas Kressig (b.1971) plays with the idea of the everyday, creating interventions using artificial light in familiar landscapes and commonplace surroundings. His work creates mesmerizing images of hypothetical urban scenes, illuminated apocalypses. Somewhere in the realm of futuristic science fiction, soulless dystopian environments emerge in diverse multi-media installations.

Lee Hochoul (b.1984) works with unfamiliar and intensified negative space, utilizing molds, a by-product of the casting process, as sculpture. The process is given a performative element by casting friends and visitors in ephemeral jelly molds, a seductive and sensuous experience. Movements of rhythmic breathing patterns and subtle twitches of the body are highlighted as the subject responds with anxiety to confinement and observation. 

Nicola Morrison’s (b.1981) meticulous and intricate drawings and paintings take subjects from natural and manmade sources, highlighting their texture and altering their shape and surrounding space. Her honed draughtsmanship and carefully tangled subjects combine to make work which is elegant yet alien. The work exists in an area between the sublime and mundane, offering the viewer a subtle distortion of time and perception. 

Artist duo Tamaki Ono (b.1973) and Kiyohito Mikami (b.1973) make up Mouhitori. Using site-specific installations the pair contemplate an unseen presence in contemporary society, generated through the process of a city’s metabolism. The duo are also directors and founders of the international artist- in residence program AIR Onomichi and Artist-run gallery Komyoji-kaikan. 

Tomoe Murakamib.1980uses photography as a tool to investigate unknown, obscure and uncertain phenomenon. Her work captures a moment of poetic and serene disappearance in unreadable environments. Sometimes the entire view within the work is confusingly obscured as if obliging the viewer to face some unnamed, indefinable ‘thing’.

 Hayato Sugii (b.1988) creates intricately structured bricolage from dismantled and discarded home appliances and furniture. His installations 
deftly combine craftsmanship and crude improvisation with the ethereal beauty of kinetic energy and violently awkward malfunction. 

Akira Yasuda (b.1973) defines his practice as the pursuit of an image-less subject. Residues of images are recorded by a reconstructive course of dark-room experimentation. Yasuda’s photographic practice is highly process-oriented and evolves through a profound attention to observation. Outcomes are an intimate and evocative abstraction.