Material Witness by Saya Kubota
Material Witness presents Saya Kubota’s new bodies of work around memory and physical traces of the past which, although they have seemingly altered in form or even to have disappeared, still persist in the present time and space. From modified paintings to an unusual postal service, they signal what their material existences might have witnessed. The solo exhibition at the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation will present her two different bodies of works: Material Witness and the Missing Post Office UK.
Dilapidated portraitures and abandoned objects, all items which were once cherished, are perceived as material images of art by Kubota’s hands. The artist overlaps the work of the original makers with her creative input, such that eyes are masked with fractal stones that disperse lights; multicultural icons of female saints are overlaid on each other; and binoculars are embellished and anthropomorphised as a potential extension of the human body.
Imaginations and memories kept afloat will be collected in the post boxes of the Missing Post Office UK. Missing Post Office (MPO) looks after letters you’ve always wanted to write but did not know where to send. While awaiting delivery to an unknown destination, the letters are left to drift, floating in a liminal space in the care of this unusual postal service. MPO invites visitors to read the collected letters, or even post their own, at this UK branch. Originally opened on the small island of Awashima in Japan as part of Setouchi Triennale in 2013, the MPO in Japan has so far received more than 10,000 letters.
MPO UK is able to receive your letters from now until 22nd February 2016. The MPO UK branch is joined by a former General Post Office worker Mr. Payne as its Postmaster.
For those who wish to contribute, please acknowledge the Q&A and details found on missing-post-office.com, and send your stamped letters to the address below:
Missing Post Office UK c/o
The Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, Daiwa Foundation Japan House, 13/14 Cornwall Terrace (Outer Circle), London NW1 4QP
The exhibition is curated by Eiko Honda.
The Asahi Shimbun on the Missing Post Office UK, 18 January 2016 Japanese (日本語) NHK: TV Feature on the Missing Post Office UK, 10 February 2016 (Video in Japanese/ビデオは日本語で) Review of Material Witness in thisistomorrow magazine, 10 February 2016
Saya Kubota was born in Ibaraki Prefecture in 1987, and is a PhD candidate at Tokyo University of the Arts. She was the artist-in-residence at City & Guilds of London Art School in 2015. Kubota’s practice revolves around memory and physical traces of the past, which although they have seemingly altered in form or even to have disappeared, are still sustained in the present time and space. She is the winner of 2014 Terada Art Award.
Image: "material witness#1", 2015, light box and incense-burnt tracing papers © Saya Kubota
20 Jan 2016 to 22 Feb 2016
Monday to Friday, 9:30am to 5pm
13/14 Cornwall Terrace, Outer Circle (entrance facing Regent's Park), London NW1 4QP
Organised by the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation
19 January 2016
"Material Witness" presents Saya Kubota’s new bodies of work around memory and physical traces of the past which, although they have seemingly altered in form or even to have disappeared, still persist in the present time and space. From modified paintings to an unusual postal service, they signal what their material existences might have witnessed. The solo exhibition at the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation will present her two different bodies of works: "Material Witness" and the "Missing Post Office UK".
9 February 2016
The Missing Post Office invites you to post a letter, like a message in a bottle, which will float on the sea of time. A letter to and from anyone, anything, anywhere and at any time, which will one day be washed ashore. This artist talk introduces its temporal UK branch, opened as part of Saya Kubota's solo exhibition Material Witness. Mr Brian Payne, Missing Post Office UK, will be in conversation with the artist, where they will discuss the letters and postcards received at the UK MPO branch hosted at the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation.
26 February 2016
Daiwa Foundation is pleased to present Like A Prime Number, a solo exhibition by Enrico Isamu Oyama. Oyama is best known for the signature style Quick Turn Structure (QTS): minimal, free-flowing motifs of repetitive lines, developed from the visual language of graffiti culture and contextualized in the realm of contemporary art. QTS is perceived by the artist as an infinite driving force with its own life; one that inhabits a higher dimension invisible to us. As a mediator, Oyama temporarily summons QTS into the physical world and captures the fragmented imprints of its unstoppable motion, visualizing them on a plethora of surfaces. These include not only physical objects such as walls, canvases and papers, but also digital, conceptual and social platforms such as videos, live performances and collaborations with fashion brands.
"Incomplete Existence", 2013, Japanese prehistoric Jōmon era earthenware and Swarovski marcasite (on a mirror and antique table)
"Material Witness #7", 2015, binoculars, false eyelashes, Swarovski crystal and Swarovski marcasite (on a mirror)
Installation View, "Missing Post Office UK"
Installation View, "Missing Post Office UK"