Umeda + Sawa: Tetsuya Umeda and Hiraki Sawa


Ota Fine Arts Singapore is delighted to present a duo exhibition featuring works by Japanese artists, Tetsuya Umeda (b.1980) and Hiraki Sawa (b.1977).

Tetsuya Umeda's practice is most recognized for his site-specific installations that entail light, movement and sound. In-depth observations of the structure and characteristics of a space paves the foundation on which his work is based, and he does so with minimal material use. This exhibition features his new work, Fricco (2019), where objects such as nets, broken and abandoned light bulbs, are placed across the space. Movement in these objects are generated through the use of simple motors, and when combined with light, a dynamic moving mobile piece is presented. Each mobile intervenes the site producing its own shadows and reflections, yet they also co-exist as one entity. Their cohesive intervention creates the illusion that the space is continuously expanding and shrinking, with a dramatic presence.

Besides regular museum and gallery spaces, Umeda has shown at unconventional sites that include outdoor spaces such as caves, mountain summits and waterfront, old Japanese houses and abandoned commercial spaces. Spaces, sites, and their structures, are inevitably connected with "time", and the "history" of these spaces are accumulated through time that has passed. Umeda attempts to retain such history, but also aims to juxtapose a new perspective of time that is created from his work. Through this, he hopes to deconstruct the rigid sensibilities of his viewers and stir their imagination towards new history and endless time.

Striking a different tune and taking on the medium of video, Hiraki Sawa experiments with the human perception. He is well-known for his video works that diffuses and blurs the boundaries between domestic and public spaces, interweaving the familiar and unfamiliar of the everyday to create dream-like scenescapes and moving images that begets one's imagination. Sawa's works are video collages of fragmented moving images documented by him. When put together, they depict scenes that are seemingly familiar yet foreign upon closer observation, triggering one's deposits of memory in our conscious and subconscious mind.

Amongst other works, this exhibition features Souvenir IV (2012), which depicts a woman standing alone in a musky room, decorated with wallpaper. A window on her left allows light in, without revealing what lies beyond the room. Gradually, she breaks out in dance, twirling continuously in a vigorous spiral form. A series of holographic images trace the path of her hand, feet and body movements.

As the light and shadows from Umeda's eccentric and transformative installation interweaves with Sawa's depiction of surreal dream-like scenescapes, the gallery is re-worked into a living space that waxes and wanes to variations in the surrounding light, sound and ambient environment. Prompting one to rethink our understanding of the conventional exhibition space, the works in this exhibition invoke an open-ended, performative and ephemeral experience. Ota Fine Arts Singapore invites you to join us for this exhibition, beginning with a special performance by artist Tetsuya Umeda at the opening reception on Thursday, 27 June at 7pm.