Surface to Air


November 12 – December 23, 2004

Curated by Eric C. Shiner
Artists: Joelle Ciona, Tomoko Igarashi, Miwa Koizumi, Hiroko Takeda and Tobias Wong

Reception: Friday, November 12, 2004, 6 to 8pm
Curator’s talk: Thursday, December 9, 2004, 6 to 8pm

ISE CULTURAL FOUNDATION is pleased to present the exhibition, Surface to Air. The exhibition features the work of five young contemporary artists working in five fully discordant mediums: paper, metal, clay, fiber and found objects. The common thread of the exhibition lies in the curator’s challenge to the artists to document their creative process and tactile intervention with their art objects during the production stage using video, a medium that was new to all of the artists. They were then asked to seamlessly incorporate this video footage into a new installation along with the actual objects themselves. Thus told, Surface to Air examines objects and their video lives in its attempt to fuse the materiality and three-dimensionality of art work with the video monitor or movie screen. Although the title of the exhibition harkens to mind imagery of missiles and battleships, in actuality, it references the visual airing of two very distinct surfaces, here the skins of the art object and the artist herself. As the world of technology continues to expand around us in leaps and bounds, Surface to Air attempts to corral a single element of the technical universe by tying the medium of video to the material world of art.

The show includes installations by Joelle Ciona, Tomoko Igarashi, Miwa Koizumi, Hiroko Takeda and Tobias Wong. Maki Matsubayashi, a recent Yale School of Architecture graduate, designed the gallery layout. Short descriptions of the artists and their work follow.

Joelle Ciona lives and works in Vancouver, British Columbia. Her work is informed by the nest- building habits of insects and is often produced over many weeks of gallery inhabitation. Ciona’s work has been shown at the Banff Centre in Canada and YOKOHAMA 2001: International Triennale of Contemporary Art in Japan, in addition to many other global venues. For Surface to Air, Ciona will create and inhabit a special storefront window installation in the Ise Cultural Foundation’s 555 Broadway street level window during daylight hours starting Tuesday, November 9th and running through the opening reception on Friday, November 12th.

Tomoko Igarashi is a New York-based jewelry designer originally from Japan. Igarashi borrows from nature’s bounty for her collection of elaborate brass, silver and gold accessories sold at a number of New York’s finest fashion establishments. Her work often includes flowers, birds and animals in delicate filigree ranging in size from small coyote head pendants to a cascading full breastplate necklace formed from seeming bouquets of flowers interspersed with small birds. For Surface to Air, Igarashi will display several pieces of fine jewelry and a newly-created chandelier made of brass and semi-precious stones.

Miwa Koizumi was trained at the Ecole Nationale Sup«±rieure des Beaux Arts in France where she focused on sculpture and installation art. Upon moving to New York City after graduation, Koizumi began producing incredibly delicate ceramics modeled on forms created by fast-drying plaster poured into inflated balloons. The resulting works are reminiscent of splashes of milk or partially cracked egg shells in their purely white and fluid elegance. Koizumi displays her work in multiples of several dozen pieces at a time, and for Surface to Air, she will create two fluorescent-lit tables atop which her ceramics will be displayed.

Hiroko Takeda was trained in the Constructed Textiles department at the Royal College of Art in London. Now based in New York as a fabric designer for a high-end interior upholstery design firm, Takeda continues to create her own whimsical designs using natural fibers in combination with synthetic materials such as monofilament and recycled plastics. For Surface to Air, Takeda will create an installation featuring several examples of her work set amidst a video environment of her loom fast at work.

Tobias Wong, originally from Vancouver, British Columbia, came to New York to study sculpture at Cooper Union School of Art. Consternated with the contemporary art world, Wong borrows heavily from the high-end worlds of fashion and design in the creation of his own unique works which often mimic or reproduce their luxury brand sources of inspiration. In Surface to Air, Wong will exhibit his Room Partition sculpture, a work formed by sixteen commercially-available box fans arranged in a way that immediately implicates the viewer in the production of the work’s “meaning.”

About the curator:
Eric C. Shiner is an independent curator and art administrator based in New York City. Prior to completing his Master’s degree in the History of Art at Yale University in 2004, Shiner lived in Yokohama, Japan and worked as an Assistant Curator for YOKOHAMA 2001: International Triennale of Contemporary Art. Prior to this, he completed his first Master’s degree, also in the History of Art, at Osaka University under the auspices of the Japanese government’s Monbusho Scholarship program. Shiner is interested in the representation of bodily transformation in Post-1945 Japanese art and photography and is currently completing a chapter on the influence of popular culture on the Japanese art of the 1980s and 1990s for a new textbook on modern and contemporary Japanese art.

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