Artists: Hiroshi Shinno & Silas Inoue
Exhibition title: Phenotype
Venue: Marie Kirkegaard, Copenhagen, Denmark
Date: August 25 – September 30, 2017
Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artists and Marie Kirkegaard
We are pleased to present Phenotype, a two-man exhibition by Japanese artist, Hiroshi Shinno and Danish- Japanese artist, Silas Inoue. Inspired by the 150-years anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Japan and Denmaerk, this exhibition is part of an artistic exchange between YOD Gallery, Osaka and Marie Kirkegard Gallery.
The exhibition title Phenotype is a biological term, defining an organism’s characteristics or traits, such as its morphology, development or behaviour. The term also describes the products of an organism’s behaviour such as an ant farm, a bird’s nest, a beaver´s dam, etc. Behaviours, which to a different extend influence the surrounding ecosystems – as when a beaver dam floods, and change its habitat.
The works of both artists stem from a deep fascination with nature, and a profound interest in humanity’s complex interaction with it. Different sorts of flora and fauna are consistent elements in the exhibition, weather they be real organisms, or synthetic or pictorial representations of natural and imaginative creatures.
The ideas behind Hiroshi Shinno’s (b. 1979) works are greatly influenced by environmental concerns. He creates Ikimono (life) sculpturrs, a series of a single beetle-like creature, which reflects his love and ideals toward the nature. Shinno’s relationship with nature goes back to his childhood and it is the source of his creativity. Whether he is in a residential area or the countryside, he often walks around and picks up pieces of nature. Naturally, the characteristics of Japanese climate, or any other climates are brought into his sculptures. The selected pieces, such as flowers, plants, seeds and leaves, are carefully cast using synthetic resin. Shinno constructs his sculptures with these small parts in order to embody his imagination in the form of “Ikimono” creatures. One could say they are the embodiment of the real-world and fantasy by virtue of the unworldly beauty and precise craftsmanship in the artwork.
In this exhibition Silas Inoue (b.1981) presents drawings and sculptural works composed by materials and organisms which are non consistent, invasive or unhealthy. In his Future Friture series, he combines sugar and cooking oil, depicting organisms such as the ‘Hydra’, or the jellyfish ‘Turritopsis dohrnii’. In nature these organisms have a very special lifespan where they revert into an immature state and later grows old again, in a continuous process between old and young, making them immortal. The Future Friture series touches upon our universal yearning for immortality – from ancient belief systems, to the present technological prospects, where singularity, stem cell research, upload of the consciousness into a digital afterlife, etc. in a near future might be capable of providing eternal life.
In he´s on-going wolf pack series of drawings, wolves have been compressed so they just barely fit into the frames. The works evolve around the wolf as signifier of wild nature, and humanity’s attempt to systemize the world and adjust nature to the confines of culture. During centuries of breeding we have turned wolves into dogs, the same goes for much of the “natural” that surrounds us in our daily life. Vegetables, fruits, life stock animals, pets, etc. for good and bad a lot of nature have been domesticated in the means of fitting into human needs and tastes. The Wolf Pack series portray this aspect of our relation with nature.
Less specific considerations are behind Inoue’s large drawing titled Phenotype where distinction between temple- like-construction and living organism dissolves in a floating indefinable entity. Accompanied by a small drawing of a samurai-like persona named Mr. InOue these works suggests a gaze back to he’s Japanese heritage.