Holistic Approach Reveals the Mechanisms of a World Hidden Within

POINT : Korea-Japan exchanging artists and critics exhibition
Artists: AHN Kanghyun, AHN Doojin, MOON Sungsik, HASHIMOTO Satoshi, FUJII Hikaru, MATSUBARA Megumi
Critics: LEE Sunyoung (critic) KIM Mijin (Seoul Arts Center, director / Hongik University) YOO Jinsang (KAYWON School of Art & Design) SUMITOMO Fumihiko (POINT curator) HATANAKA Minoru (NTT Inter Communication Center [ICC], curator) HARA Hisako (curator)
Organized by: National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea, Changdong Art Studio, Alternative Space LOOP
Kyoto Art Center, Tokyo 
January 9–24, 2010


MATSUBARA Megumi, inspired by her background in architecture, portrays spaces encountered in everyday life. Her work is not confined to a certain genre, but spans painting, sculpture, video art, musical composition, and photography. She often collaborates with experts in these genres to further push the boundaries of her work. <Absent City>, unveiled at Gallery within Assistant in Tokyo in 2008, is a reinterpretation of the gallery as an individual city. The work creates a centrifuge of the architectural forms of grid and other geometric shapes, and adds the artist’s sensuous touch to the space. The installation work depicts a secretive private space within the city, completely lacking exterior construction and left only with the interior. It exposes viewers to the mechanisms of a secretive world by revealing the space hidden behind the facade.

MATSUBARA Megumi sheds light on the distinct dimensions of a space that is divided into independent segments or layered upon each other, using the sensory system of perception and imagination. Each interior object represents the environment it belongs to. For instance, the photograph of a person hung on the wall is seen through a suspended lattice window to give the feel of watching a neighbor through a home window. The black table and geometrical shape of the tree are placed in a fashion that reminds viewers of an indoor garden. In addition to the structures that form the space, the TV, the video player, the wall painting, the floor stand and the translucent colored pieces of paper attached to the ceiling all connote sound, light, and wind respectively. The effect of these elements interacting with one another makes the space appear and feel larger. A look through the hole in the wooden box reveals a vast meadow under the bright sun. Remove the black wooden box, and another small hole is discovered, beyond which more worlds unfold. While these holes appear to be subtly changing dots of light from a distance, they become gates to look down upon the cities beyond. There is an entire city submerged in narrow rectangular paper strips inscribed with words such as “plant,” “metal,” “plastic,” “puzzle” and “zipper.” Another city is speedily making progress, driven by the development of the information industry. The gallery’s interior serves as the sky for these worlds, creating a macro world with light reflected upon a transparent panel and the flow of a magnetic field, air and water. The artist is interested in spaces other than the political and social environment of the city, and reinterprets them through new visual and perceptive expressions with elements easily found in our day-to-day lives. Each layer of the space is mounted with a different world, and these worlds are interconnected by holes, wind, light and other diminutive or intangible elements, thus interacting and interconnected with one another. These worlds represent the overlap between future, present, and past and the dimensions of imagination and ideals interspersed throughout. The layers of <Absent City> symbolize the different worlds that all individuals hide inside themselves. Each layer increases the possibilities to explore a more profound world of art. <Le Corbusier>, the product of a workshop she opened for children in 2007, is a harmonious, unified collection of suspended objects selected by children within four corners of a connecting frame. Brightly colored geometric patterns of circles, rectangles, and triangles mingle with atypical objects such as a draping net and rope. Displayed within a confined frame, these objects both overlap and fully expose themselves, representing the principle of worldly life – the crossroads of inevitability and coincidence.

In conclusion, MATSUBARA Megumi aims to sensuously highlight the mechanisms of a world that is continuously reconstructed, modified, and altered by adding the non-physical matter of metaphor, translucency, sub-consciousness, memories, light and sound to fit the stereotypical outward appearance of a common object, institution, or situation.

Appearance: POINT (Exhibition Catalogue), January 2010

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