Artist: Minami Nishinaga
Exhibition title: I’ll give brownie points to something like Čert 180 g, Loupák pes 60 g, or perhaps Bez omáčky
Curated by: Tímea Vitázková
Venue: Fait Gallery, Brno, The Czech Republic
Date: February 26 – July 25, 2020
Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Fait Gallery, Brno
We are exploring the world to know how it works by just as like peeling Baumkuchen layer by layer.
There I wish the world is surrounded by moments to know small surprising facts which shake our understanding of the world a bit but not to the extent to completely change the structure.
… like when I came to know that couscous is a type of pasta.
Čert 180 g is a type of bread, which you can find on St. Nicolaus day in Tesco, Loupák pes 60g in Albert. Although these products are on offer in self-service checkouts, there is no real chance to buy them. Mirroring this situation, “bez omáčky” is most likely an option, that you can choose from while ordering fries from the same type of self-checkouts, but this wish may not be granted. Sometimes we are offered things by the system, which we cannot choose from, another time for a change we can choose things, which will not be allowed by the system. These are outwardly insignificant and easily overlooked objects and situations. We stop and think about it for a while and then we continue on with life, or we don’t pay attention to them at all.
Nonetheless, Minami Nishinaga with her daily obsession and sensitivity towards detail, pays attention to those situations, appreciates them and thus transforms them into her works. The essence of her work results in mostly objects and miniature sculptures, often having performative or audiovisual overlap. One of the main themes, which the artist deals with, is language. At the beginning, the author of Japanese descent perceived the Czech language as very difficult, even
inaccessible. She managed to get acquainted with the language only after getting to know the diminutives. These peculiar words, which contain a kind of mercy are also a sign of proximity between the subjects of communication, became a source of fascination for the artist. Minami Nishinaga became a collector of these phrases, the inventor of her imaginary vocabulary, looking for and assigning local equivalents to the diminutives of her native language. These diminutives
are the bearers of proximity but especially their cuteness – and it winds throughout the artist’s work, which is also manifested at the exhibition in the Fait Gallery.
I’ll give brownie points to something like Čert 180 g, Loupák pes 60 g, or perhaps Bez omáčky visualises personal stories of eight anthropomorphic objects from different materials. These subtle narrative pieces capture a tiny murmur between objects and subjects. At first sight, these dialogues are not clear however, thanks to the author’s sensitivity and imagination they speak to us and are waiting for empathy, recognition and attention. It is subtle in personifications of zoomorphic works or objects, which are addressed with humanity and care. Other works are related to the artist herself, her “ritual” or situations, full of intimacy and are reflecting the search for support. Throughout these subtle poetic objects, Minami Nishinaga encourages sensitivity, receptive understanding and appreciation of not only your surroundings but also to you personally.