Friday 9 February 2024

Japan- “Cut Pieces,” a solo exhibition of works by Fuyuhiko Takata

Evocative of myths, legends, fairy tales, and other fantasy worlds, Takata creates vibrantly rich narratives through his self-produced cinematic pieces. Deceptively simple and often profoundly humorous, he meticulously crafts each vignette, often transforming his tiny apartment into elaborate homemade film sets while sculpting his own intricate and colorful props, which are themselves works of art. Directing, filming, narrating, and even acting in his videos, he is a visual storyteller whose elaborate visions playfully interrogate social questions around power, nation, gender, and sexuality. Resonating with subtle and often poetic critique, these works are theatrical, poignant glimpses into alternate universes that challenge our understandings of contemporary society in Japan and worldwide.

 “Cut Pieces” for Art Basel Hong Kong 2024, is an installation and video exhibition that highlights two of Takata’s most recent companion works, The Butterfly Dream (2022) and a latest video titled Cut Suits (2023). The first is a piece in which the artist poetically alludes to “Dream of the Butterfly,” an episode from the Chinese classic Zhuangzi, in which the protagonist dreams he has metamorphosed into a butterfly. Nodding to the landmark work of Yoko Ono, Takata conjures up a fantastical scene in which a hybrid butterfly-scissors chimera flaps its wings as it slices away the clothing of a sleeping young man, raising profound philosophical questions around not only the dialectical relationship of power to pleasure but also the rigid inhibitions surrounding masculinity itself. Cut Suits, meanwhile, is a sequel that further develops this deconstruction by literally excising the superficial trappings of institutionalized male power. In this work, six men clad in business attire delight in snipping away with scissors at each other’s suits, shirts, and ties, while cheerful music plays enchantingly in the background. This nonviolent and even whimsical ritual hints at liberatory themes of shedding, hatching, and unleashing that so prominently recur throughout Takata’s opus. As a monument to the messiness and difficulty entailed in unraveling the patriarchy, these scrapped and tattered garments sheared from the bodies of the film’s characters will be heaped in front of the screen, a gravesite of molted manhood. Nearby this pile of detritus, the booth will also feature the butterfly scissors sculpture that appears in the first film

Fuyuhiko Takata, Cut Suits, 2023, installation view ©︎Fuyuhiko Takata, courtesy of the artist and WAITINGROOM

Referencing both Duchamp’s famous “Cemetery of Uniforms and Liveries” motif, which represents the symbolization and stereotyping of masculinity and femininity, Takata also alludes to the practice of minimalist sculptor Robert Morris, who littered his exhibition sites with shredded fabric. The artist thus brings Western art into conversation with his identity as a Japanese contemporary artist by fetishizing the figure of the “salaryman,” the icon of corporate masculinity in Japan, so often imagined packed into rush-hour trains like sushi. Teasingly cutting away at the threads that shackle these souls to destinies of heteronormativity and capitalist machismo, he humanizes them and rescues their innocent joy enshrouded just beneath the surface

WAITINGROOM Discoveries Sector, Booth 1C43 Solo Presentation of Fuyuhiko Takata (高田冬彦) Show Title: Cut Pieces WAITINGROOM is pleased to present

 “Cut Pieces,” a solo exhibition of works by Fuyuhiko Takata(高田冬彦), a Tokyo-based artist born in 1987 in Hiroshima, Japan, in the Discoveries Sector (Booth 1C43) at Art Basel Hong Kong 2024.


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