Adamson Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new multimedia installation pieces by Yuriko Yamaguchi. Like the clouds for which they are named, these ethereal but vital pieces are constructed from networks of steel, copper, and brass wire, which connect hand-cast resin representations of silicon molds made from organic materials. It is from this mixture of the natural and the unnatural: biology and technology; the visible and the invisible; the manual and the automatic; the web and the cloud, that the exhibition takes its main themes. As Yamaguchi says, “I found my purpose in creating works that remind people that we are all connected in many overlapping webs woven out of the common forces that affect the human condition: family origin, economic stressors, religious beliefs, nature, time, place, and technology.”
Yamaguchi likens her process to the “chance operations” of musician John Cage. For some pieces, she begins by drying cabbage leaves, peeled onion skins and sliced potatoes until they no longer resemble their former selves and are instead almost abstract objects that have taken on new, curved shapes: biological, but not natural. She then creates a silicon rubber mold and hand-casts pigmented resin in a range of colors, which she connects into modules until a substantial shape emerges. Other pieces make use of leaves, wax, and coral, all of which are recombined into new and unexpected shapes, colors, and forms. Yamaguchi states, “My work tells me what to do next. I just follow. This process is similar to the growth of an organism.”
It is certainly easy to view Yamaguchi’s exquisite sculptural works, sometimes studded with tiny LED lights, as transcendental organic bodies: the curvature of the resin shapes and the networked wires cast ghostly shadows on the walls and the ceilings upon which they are mounted and suspended. They bring to mind, as the artist intends, a technological rendition of nature; an otherworldly environment. At the same time, they also reference another interplay of technology and nature: the information cloud; a deliberate move on Yamaguchi’s part: “Both are artificial products and both are able to multiply endlessly; once we are determined to destroy them, they can be corrupted instantly. In today’s civilized society, we no longer can live without technology and artificial materials. We co-exist with them although we are part of nature.”
Yuriko Yamaguchi was born in Osaka, Japan but has lived and worked in the United States since the early 1970s. Her work has been exhibited internationally and has been collected by the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the National Museum of Women in the Arts and the National Museum of American Art. She is also on faculty of the Studio Art program at George Washington University. This is her second solo exhibition at Adamson Gallery.
Public opening reception: Friday, April 11, 2014, 6-8 PM
1515 14th Street NW