Masanori Handa: A Palace: Masanori Handa


Opening Reception in the presence of the artist:
Saturday, 22 July 2017, 6-8 pm

Ota Fine Arts Singapore is delighted to present "Masanori Handa: A Palace", a solo exhibition featuring the artist's latest works of a large installation and a series of drawings. In 2013, the Tokyo-based artist showcased nakakiyo no entakukei, a mountain-shaped installation made out of round tables and plants, in Singapore, which marked his first presentation in the region. While Handa evolves his ideas into a new series, his blend of an intricate touch coupled with a mind-blowing use of color continues to characterize his work.

Titled "A Palace", this installation work is an exploration by the artist in deconstructing objects and materiality. Handa attaches different kinds of tiles onto wooden structures and erects these new forms on the ground, so that viewers would witness a collective impression of different stone patterns. From Indian sandstone and marble stone to Teppei-seki (Japanese andesine), the artist uses various types of stones to create a strong visual effect. These stone tiles are cut into different shapes and juxtaposed in various locations, both horizontally and vertically. As a result, viewers would experience a unique visual coherence.

Interestingly, when viewed from certain angles, the installation reveals that there only exists a façade. Tiles are often used to decorate the surface of a building or a room and are meant to be a component of a larger structure. On the contrary, in "A Palace", tiles function merely as a pattern: the work as a whole is a collective of patterns, as the artist puts it. In this, Handa also explores the idea of deconstruction, realized in the observation that these tiles do not carry out their conventional function. What is consistent in Handa's installation works is that he does not fix the direction or angle for viewers to experience his works. In this exhibition, viewers are encouraged to take different standpoints to be immersed into the scenery.

The artist correlates this work with the idea of a palace. As a reserved space for royalty, a palace often admits no entry. People could admire its gorgeous architectural structures from the outside, but it remains unknown what the inside is like. Perhaps the palace may already have become an old legacy with no inhabitants. A palace entails a sense of nostalgia - it may embody beauty and royalty, however its most prosperous time may have already gone. What remains is a hollow shell with a glorious exterior.

"A Palace" invites viewers to a journey of unique visual and cognitive experiences surrounding parts and whole, surface and inside, entity and imagination, future and past. The work provides various different axes to explore related issues to our recognition.

Installation Views