Rintaro Hara: Ascending and Descending -white and polar night-
The amount of daylight in Finland varies greatly according to the season. From the white nights of the arctic summer to the darkness of the polar nights, Finland is home to natural phenomena which do not occur in Japan.
In his installation Ascending and Descending, the artist Rintaro Hara illustrates the duality of these natural phenomena by creating a physical space the audience can experience. Hara often works by creating site-specific installations which utilise the characteristics of the exhibition space and has lately been working on astronomy phenomena in particular, using lights, wooden structures and mechanics.
The gallery space in Hara’s installation represents both the arctic white night and polar night while the moving spheres can resemble familiar round shapes: the moon, a snowball and so on. Stepping into the dark cube, the viewer can experience the shift in the amount of daylight when the Nordic summer moves into the winter time and possibly visions of the aurora borealis. Perhaps for some, the dark room with its illuminated planets or moons can also act as a voyage to day dreams of our universe.
The title of Hara’s installation is cited from M.C. Escher’s lithography print work “Ascending and descending”, an iconic image presenting a visual paradox of a staircase in a building. In much the same way, the mechanics of Hara’s installation also play with our vision and visual illusions which the moving or “floating” spheres create.
Rintaro Hara (b. 1973) graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from the Tokyo Zokei University in 1997 and has held solo exhibitions both in Japan and the Netherlands. Hara has also taken part in various group exhibitions in the past twenty years, mainly in Japan but also in the Netherlands, the U.S. and Italy.
Rintaro Hara’s (JPN) exhibition at Gallery Forum Box is a part of the Port Journeys network collaboration. Forum Box is a member in the international art network of harbour cities all around the world (http://www.portjourneys.org/about/). The network’s projects offer new international and cooperative opportunities for artists and professionalsaround the world. Artist Rintaro Hara’s exhibition at Forum Box is produced in cooperation with Spiral/Wacoal Art Center in Tokyo (JPN). Hara will also spend a month in residency organized in collaboration with HIAP – Helsinki Artist Recidency Program.
Beneath the Remains
The opposite of a utopia filled with hope is a dystopia: a world that we do not want to see. Artists and writers have always been interested in visions of negative futures. The background to this has frequently been a desire to influence the present, to warn humanity against going too far.
Viljami Heinonen is a painter of dystopias. His dramatic works are filled with explicit violence and the threat of violence, desperation and situations of conflict. He manages to compress into his works a multiplicity of feelings of fear and insecurity, which intrude into our everyday lives, for example, through news reports, even if we never personally meet the perpetrators.
Heinonen’s way of working is agitated, intense, and precise. His works are kinds of painted collages, still images whose lushly tattered exteriors make them appear in places as if the fiercest battles had been fought out on their surface.
And yet, Heinonen’s paintings are not all anxiety engendered by uncertainty. He knows the recent history of art and is also able to make use of what it has to offer. His visual language and treatment of motifs contain numerous links with both the punk aesthetic and the tradition of post-war Informalism and Neorealism.
This exhibition has been supported by the Finnish Art Society (Young Artist Grant).