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ongoing Contemporary Monogatari: new Japanese narratives

The show

A delicate kesa, the Buddhist ritual cloak, next to a minimal kimono made of knotted rope; the imposing structure of the samurai armor next to the videos of the performances Umbrella dance and In the garden; the nineteenth-century wooden prints in dialogue with the photographs depicting kabuki actors: in the new rearrangement of the Japanese gallery of the MAO , which combines works from the permanent collections and works by the Japanese artist Kazuko Miyamoto (Tokyo, 1942), different eras and languages coexist, which they offer distant but collateral points of view on recurring and layered themes and symbols.

Contemporary Monogatari: new Japanese narratives , which opens to the public on December 12 , curated by director Davide Quadrio together with the MAO staff and created in close dialogue with the director of the Madre Museum of Naples, Eva Fabbris, offers an exploration of artistic practice by Kazuko Miyamoto in dialogue with the spaces and works exhibited on the second floor of the MAO Japanese gallery. In this exhibition project the present infiltrates a constellation composed of objects from the past which, thanks to contamination, find new life and new possibilities of meaning.

The rearrangement opens with Miyamoto's work Kimono/corde (2003), a stylized kimono silhouette made of rope, a poor material emblem of the essentiality of minimalism, placed in contrast with the silky and refined materiality of the kesa from the permanent collections of museum, three 19th century examples decorated with abstract and geometric elaborations of motifs inspired by the natural world, such as flowers and clouds.

The combination refers to the artisanal production methods of the two garments: in fact, similarly to Buddhist ritual cloaks, kimonos are also traditionally made by assembling silk rectangles. Their shape is not intended to accommodate the curves of the body, but to envelop them, hiding them. Through the creative process, Miyamoto strips away the original structure of the kimono, one of the most powerful and universal symbols of Japan, and, through an extreme gesture of subtraction, transforms it into an anatomical subject, a skeleton which, however, retains the original subject the profound essence.


Timetable and tickets


Via San Domenico, 9-11
10100 Turin


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