KOKUFU Osamu Solo Exhibition
April 26 ～ June 22, 2014 10:00～18:00/Free
Born in 1970, KOKUFU Osamu is known for his use of automobile and propeller-powered vehicle motifs in his works. His works are produced as practical machinery with moving parts yet never lose their appeal as Kokufu’s dream machines, hatched out of the artist’s own admiration for all things mechanical and formed as manifestations of his personal view of the world. In recent years, he has devised many works that border on science fiction, pitting nature against machine to an effect characterized by both inherent fusion and simultaneous contention. Two examples of his wor are the mechanical contraptions that grow plants artificially or a field of moss atop an overturned vehicle. His works pose many questions to contemporary life through fictional glimpses of the future.
The title of this exhibition, Floating Conservatory, expresses his works as “conservatories,” devices which are able to take a relative look at the relationship between humanity and the world. His “conservatories” are tiny utopias of a sort—ideal artificial growth environments that mimic nature to protect and nurture living things. We start to perceive any number of matters and values in this vast world in a relative manner through his chimerical utopias, which often serve as criticisms of reality.
It is only appropriate that Kokufu’s works should be displayed at ANDO Tadao’s ACAC gallery, an architectural wonder which brandishes its man-made horizon within the verdant forest terrain. Within this local geography, the dichotomy between the natural and artificial in Kokufu’s works is sure to intersect with the real world to produce fresh and innovative realizations.
KOKUFU Osamu creates his works around a central theme of machinery. He has presented works such as fictional yet functional vehicles with real working parts, devices (conservatories) that manage vegetation artificially, and even carpets of vegetation grown on the underbelly of overturned automobiles or inside dish antennas. The contrast between nature and manufactured machine forces us to not only consider the relationship between people and nature but also question the mechanisms behind everything around us.
■ Solo Exhibitions
2013 "Osamu Kokufu : Cosmosphere", Otani Memorial Art Museum, Nishinomiya City, Hyogo, Japan.
2012 "Osamu Kokufu : Anywhere from Here", Kyoto Art Center, Kyoto, Japan.
2011 "Osamu Kokufu : KOKUFUMOBIL -- Do Spinning Sprockets Dream of Parallel World?", Chika Ecoda, Ekoda Campus, Nihon University College of Art, Tokyo, Japan.
2010 "Osamu Kokufu: Parabolic Garden", Artcourt Gallery, Osaka, Japan.
■ Group Exhibitions
2013 "Aichi Triennale 2013", Chuo-Hirokoji building, Aichi, Japan.
2013 "Rokko meets Art 2013", Rokkosan Country House, Hyogo, Japan.
2012 "Fukushima Biennale 2012", Fukushima Airport, Fukushima, Japan.
2011 "TRA: Edge of Becoming", Palazzo Fortuny, Venice, Italy.
photo: HIRAYAMA Kenji（Setten design)
Organized by Aomori Contemporary Art Centre, Aomori Public University
Supported by The Asahi Shinbun Foundation