WAITINGROOM (Tokyo) is pleased to present “Nowhere in Blue,” a solo exhibition by Saori Miyake from October 21 (Sat) to November 19 (Sun), 2023. Miyake has been working with a photogram technique that consists of printing “shadows” of drawings by reversing existing images she has encountered in various ways, drawing them on transparent sheets where negative and positive space has been flipped, and then exposing them over a layer of photosensitive paper, for example. In recent years, Miyake has been working on video works that reflect the deeper thinking she has developed as a result of producing these photograms, as well as cyanotypes that are photosensitive to sunlight, while continuing to extract the notion of the “painterly image” that takes shape over the course of people looking at various things, making images of them in some way, sharing those images, and overlapping them with a new kind of gaze. For this exhibition, Miyake will present for the first time a new series of cyanotypes and video works that reflect this line of thinking. These series will reflect the way in which Miyake has contemplated the theme of landscape and landscape painting, which she discovered by walking through forests and gardens as an artist in the midst of dramatic changes in her daily life, including the experience of a global pandemic and the explosive spread of generative AI.
《Nowhere in Blue》2023, video still
About the artist, Saori Miyake
Born in 1975 in Gifu, Currently lives and works in Kyoto. Graduated from Master’s Degree Major in Faculty of Fine Arts at Kyoto City University of Arts in 2000. Her recent exhibitions include a solo exhibition “Artist in Museum AiM Vol.9 Saori MIYAKE” (2021, The Museum of Fine Arts, atelier / Gifu), a solo exhibition “Garden | POTSDAM” (2019, SPACE TGC / Tokyo), a solo exhibition “THE MISSING SHADE 3” (2018, WAITINGROOM / Tokyo), a solo exhibition “THE MISSING SHADE 2” (2017, SAI GALLERY / Osaka), a group exhibition “The Practice of Everyday Practice” (2021, Nagoya University of the Arts Art & Design Center / Aich), a group exhibition “Oku-Noto Triennale 2020+ A foremost art festival at the furthest edge of the world” (2021, Suzu city / Ishikawa), a group exhibition “MOT Annual 2019 Echo after Echo: Summoned Voices, New Shadows” (2019, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo /Tokyo),
“20th DOMANI: The Art of Tomorrow” (2018, The National Art Center, Special Exhibition Gallery 2E / Tokyo).
She has received the “The Kyoto Prefecture Culture Prize for Effort” in 2016, the “Sakuya -konohana award” in the Fine Arts category in 2013, “VOCA AWARD 2010” in 2010, and her works have been collected by the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, Kyoto City University of Arts, and Monblanc Japan, among others.
left: “Blue print” 2023, Cyanotype on paper, 240 x 190 mm
right: “Blue print” 2023, Cyanotype on paper, 400 x 710 mm
“Blueprints” of landscapes depicted by shadows
Cyanotype, characterized by its distinctive bright blue coloration, is a photographic technique that uses a chemical reaction of iron salts. It was invented in the 19th century and is also known as daylight photography, because it can be printed with sunlight. According to Miyake, “I started using this technique for my own work during the period when we were supposed to exercise ‘self-restraint from going out’ due to the spread of COVID-19. Being confined indoors, I became more aware of the outdoor environment and nature. Going out of the darkroom and printing in sunlight was also an experience of personal healing for me (Print Art, Spring 2022 [No. 195], pp. 26-33).” During these years when the COVID-19 pandemic was raging, Miyake stayed and worked at the Museum of Fine Arts, Gifu, as well as in Suzu City, Ishikawa Prefecture, and at a mountain villa in Nagano. Walking aimlessly through gardens, forests, and other landscapes formed by the coexistence between natural and man-made objects, Miyake says that she began to think more deeply about how technology has changed our relationship with and understanding of nature, and how art might exist in such a changing environment.
For Miyake, who has been interested in how images themselves are composed, and has been exploring the “painterly image” inherent in the activity of sharing images, the spread of generative AI, which creates new images by learning from existing ones, has also been a significant influence. Her works include a video where negative and positive space has been flipped, depicting the landscape around the mountain villa in Nagano Prefecture where she was working during her residency, a series of multiple exposures made by outputting still images of different scenes from her video works at different times onto film and overlaying them, and a series of screenshots of enlarged digital image grids that are then composited on the screen and printed out on film. All of the new series presented in this exhibition were born out of Miyake’s experiences as an artist over the course of her “everyday life” over the past few years, with the experience of the global pandemic and the rapid spread of generative AI.
The “nowhere” landscapes, which can be traced back to the shadow as the origin of how images are created, and incorporate within them its characteristic elements such as plurality and inversion, are reminiscent of a future in which humans have perished and the world has been swallowed up by nature, as in the world of science fiction. These works, created through a unique process, all have a sense of depth that differs from that of paintings or photographs, and seem to evoke a particular sense of time and place: “somewhere, but nowhere,” and “someday, but I don’t know when.” This is the state of the “painterly image” that exists in the process of creating and sharing images, according to Miyake.
What kind of landscapes might emerge when the classic photographic technique of cyanotype is combined with image generation technologies such as generative AI? Sitting on the furniture of the mountain villa where Miyake actually stayed, and looking at the landscape of blue imagery that flows more slowly than real time, visitors are invited to ponder these unknown landscapes that may exist somewhere, or may someday exist.
ART WEEK TOKYO
We will be participating in a four-day art event that will take us on a bus tour of galleries and museums in Tokyo.
*We are open on Thu. to Sat. 10am-7pm and Sun. 10am-6pm
Dates: 11/2 Thu. – 5 Sun. 2023
More Info: https://www.artweektokyo.com
Saori Miyake “Nowhere in Blue” Artist Talk
Date: Recorded and streamed on WAITINGROOM’s Youtube channel after October 30
Guests : Saori Miyake (Exhibiting Artist), Ryosuke Kondo (Art Critic, Curator)
Moderator : Tomoko Ashikawa (Director, WAITINGROOM)
Click here to watch the video→https://youtu.be/TPIw7taMIjE
Saori Miyake, the exhibiting artist of this exhibition, and guest Ryosuke Kondo, art critic and curator, will give a talk about their past activities and the theme and works of this exhibition by Saori Miyake.
Mr. Kondo specializes in art aesthetics and landscape history, and his wide-ranging critical work is based on research into Japanese, English, and American painting and landscape architecture theory. He has also curated exhibitions such as “Urban Sansui” (kudan house, 2023) and “Individual Sansui” (Komagome SOKO, 2020), focusing on indigenous East Asian perspectives on nature.
Miyake, who has been attempting to extract a “pictorial image,” presents a series of works in this exhibition that reflect her contemplation of “landscape (landscape/landscape painting),” which she discovered through walking in forests and gardens.
It would be a great opportunities to hear their respective theories of landscape and painting.
A video of the recorded talk will be available on WAITINGROOM’s YouTube channel.
*Talks will be in Japanese only.
Saori Miyake ONLINE VIEWING
Saori Miyake’s video works (past works) are available online only during Art Week Tokyo.
Date: 10/31(Tue.) – 11/5(Sun.)
Viewing Room: https://waitingroom.jp/viewing_room/nowhere-in-blue/
*This link will available on 10/31(Tue.), 2023.
Cocktails in collaboration with Saori Miyake will be served at AWT BAR during this event.
Dates: 11/2 Thu. – 5 Sun. 2023, 10am−0am (last entry 11:30pm）
Venue: AWT BAR (emergence aoyama complex 1F 5-4-30 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo)
More Info: https://www.artweektokyo.com/bar/