* Closed on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday
* Open on Last Sunday
13:00 ～ 19:00
CALM & PUNK GALLERY will be holding an exhibition by Hikaru Narita titled “Reproduction” from December 4th (Friday).
Narita’s main theme for his works has been the abandoned toys made under mass production. His sculptures made with figures or some parts of them, once owned by someone, were not only giving us a sense of nostalgia but also a weird, uncomfortable feeling to us living in this consumer culture. This exhibition will be showcasing pieces with motifs evoking pop and catchy animation and toys, what he is known for; while all signs of griminess are gone, works full of unknown eeriness have emerged. Through the series of the smooth-surfaced, mirror-finished work resembling sequences from animations, the disquiet in modern society is revealed by the reflection of the crowded spaces and our own images.
In addition to drawings, we will be showing his new series of three-dimensional pieces that come palm-sized to 150cm tall.
When I imagine the sides and the backs of flat images, I start creating invisible areas based on their outlines. When I try to expand the space by pushing them out, a form resembling a plastic hot-water bottle came to mind. To recreate an image based on time, space, and sight, sculptures need to be transformed into two dimensions, so I chose animation as a motif.
ー Hikaru Narita
When I saw a series of Narita’s recent works, I recognized how they are fundamentally different from his works from the last few years. He’s always dealt with pop, catchy animation, and toy-like motifs; however, gone was the grumpy feeling that I felt in his past body of work, stemming from the fact that they were zombies.
Since around 2015, the main theme of Narita’s works had been abandoned broken toys. That time, Narita was like a necromancer with high sculpting skills. The corpse-like figurines, or parts of them, were scaled up and sublimated into sculptures. “No longer genuine, it’s became a fictitious being. Art tells a gentle lie.” This was part of the statement from the gallery ANAGRA during his solo exhibition “Hollow” in 2018. Cleverly described, it indeed consisted of a gentle lie. Either it derived from his love for abandoned things or his hatred towards the consumer culture, or both.
What do the artworks presented in this show mean? No longer zombies, they were summoned from the world of 2D to 3D, turning into cyborgs through Narita’s own perspective and skill. Coloration and texture are transfigured into solid forms, those mirror-finish pieces resemble something industrial rather than handwork. It seems they have acquired a wide frontage appeal with increased pop-ness.
However—the sculpture of a dog in a typical animation style appear to have multiple moving parts; its form is just like Kerberos, the watchdog of hell, from “Stray Dog” (a film by Mamoru Oshii). It looks like wasteland outside the window, just like the other side of the smart phone—or could it be the dangerous waters where sharks lurk. Is the little bird aware of its enemy with sharp teeth? Even flowers which are supposed to be a relief, seem creepy.
Narita has moved on from making zombies to making cyborgs. Not only is the smell of death leaking through capitalism, it feels like he is starting to capture disquiet and unraveling that pervades the whole modern society, managed by the principle and method of capitalism.
Deciphering these thoughts through the smooth and sweet figures feels natural today.
ー Noriyuki Abe / CALM&PUNK GALLERY