Nobuhito Nishigawara

Nishigawara_

#09   2012
Clay and metal (8.5″ x 9.5″ x 5″), digital pigment print (12.5″ x 16.5″)

“My work explores perception and interpretation of cultural icons through strong references to art history. Having spent the first half of my life—during my formative years—in Japan, and the other half in North America, I am very interested in the relationship of perception, ritual, and interpretation to cultural identity.

Personally, I identify with dual cultures; a mixture of old traditions and sensibilities inherent in Japan along with contemporary experiences from the West. I am strongly influenced by my upbringing with Japanese sensibilities Wabi and Sabi as meditative aesthetics, while my recent experiences in Western American culture, without such a strongly embedded historical, favor experimentation and a sense of discovery. The Western culture that is not as regimented as Japan allows for hybrid identities, overlapping narratives, and virtual realities which strongly influence the ideas embedded in my work.

The most recent body of work explores the recontextualization of historic artifacts in the contemporary world and how this parallels my explorations in cultural identity. Prehistoric Art is often connected to the primitive arts of “non-civilized” peoples, both understood as fundamental components of daily life and religious experience, yet without artistic value. As an artist, I value those visual arts that are driven by the games of possibilities of matter and form. Imitation and realism, interacting with the uncertain figuration and abstraction are fundamental aesthetics that the prehistoric art influences my own art practice. I am appropriating historic forms from art history such as the Haniwa figure as a representation for a culture, but removed from the context in from which the meaning and identity is developed. This duality – of the historic figure and contemporary presentation further represents my ongoing search for personal/cultural dual identity in a culture of increasing global influences and contradictions.”

私の作品は美術史に影響を受けつつ、文化に対する知覚、儀式と解釈の関係を表現しています。また私は日本の伝統と感性そして西洋式で現代的な経験という、二つの文化に成り立ってると思っています。歴史的なことを除いたとしても、近年培ったアメリカ文化が実験と探求を促し、日本的で瞑想的な侘び寂びの感性が私の作品に影響を与えています。日本ほどで連動していない西洋文化の中でもハイブリッドされた同一性、重複するものがたりや仮想現実が強く私の作品に表現されています。

– Nobuhito Nishigawara

Nishigawara, bio