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Passing

1998

Chapter, Cardiff, Wales, UK

Perspex, threaded rod and excavated wall


Out of Place (catalogue)

Inside/Outside: Surrounded by Four Women, Sunil Gupta


“Reiko Aoyagi appears to respond to an equivalent but very different sense of displacement by revealing the layers of history hidden within the fabric of the building and then bathing it in natural light. Where the former has enclosed the latter has revealed. The consequences are the same for both; a terrifying feeling of vulnerability, a tearing asunder of the past and the present, and the presentation of a very uncertain future. Aoyagi’s self-imposed exile has led her to shed fixed notions of cultural traditions. She works here as an artist from another place but is not bound up with stereotypical values often associated by a Western audience with Japan, values of either tradition or kitsch. Her formal concerns lie with space and light and this dramatic environmental quality of her work engenders an emotional response in the viewer, this is both her artistic strategy and the work itself. The space induces a quality of vulnerability, pain and empathy. “What have I done?” she asked of herself. A universal question posed by all of us as we ponder our contributions to the human condition. Aoyagi bares the scarred walls of the gallery revealing a question of guilt. Artists, of course, have a very active role in this questioning as they fabricate materials and actions in real spaces inducing a plausible response.”