NEW YORK—For those convinced that some contemporary art is not art at all, at first glance the exhibit by Japanese artist Mr. at Lehmann Maupin may appear to be an enormous pile of chaotically collected and gingerly stacked junk. “Metamorphosis: Give Me Your Wings” is a gallery-wide installation, the artist’s first such effort outside Japan. In addition to its site-specific elements—discarded furnishings, clothes, books and flat screens—the show includes several new paintings on canvas.
Lehmann Maupin says the exhibit “embodies the post-disaster angst and frustration of the Japanese people since the catastrophic events of March 11, 2011.” The gallery adds, “According to the artist, the Japanese people rose in a unified effort to recover from the devastation of the loss of World War II. But along with the recent economic stagnation, the earthquakes in Eastern Japan, and the after effects of the nuclear disaster, a collective depression from an inability to vent their frustrations continues to accumulate within their society.”
Like most major news event, the world has moved on to the next big thing and post-disaster conditions in Japan don’t register on the global radar. Whether you consider Mr.’s work art or not, most would agree it makes an important statement.
Watch Mr. install and explain his exhibit, which he says he hopes people will view and “experience a show that is uniquely Japanese.”
The exhibit is on view at the gallery’s West 26th Street space from to Sept. 13 to Oct. 20, 2012.
All photos © Arts Observer