Mireya Samper | Plaza Gallery, Tokyo.
Plaza Gallery, Tokyo.
2 April – 24 April 2016
The Icelandic artist Mireya Samper opens a solo exhibition in Tokyo – Plaza Gallery, Sengawa, on the 2nd of April 2016 at 17.00 – 18.30. The exhibition contains works made of bronze, aluminum, stones, silver and Japanese Washi paper. At the opening there will be a performance by the Japanese artists Tomoo Nagai percussionist & K.A.N.A. dancer.
The exhibition is open every day at 10.00 – 18.30 (except Wednesday).
Mireya Samper (b. 1964) studied at the Icelandic College of Art and Crafts and graduated from the Ecole D’Art Luminy Marseille 1993. She has realized numerous exhibitions and projects around the world since 1997, her work supersedes the identity as sculptor or painter, working parallel in two and three dimensions for museums or in-situ.
“In art we sometimes see that the more an artist concentrates on his or her
materials, the higher the spirit of the work can soar. This applies to Mireya
Samper’s recent work where she uses Japanese paper, Icelandic rocks worn
smooth by the sea, coloured water and silver leaf. This choice of materials
gives the art an almost metaphysical dimension and we sense the hardness
of the rock, the lightness of the paper, the fluidity of the water and the clear
shine of silver. Mireya ties them all together by using the same shape, a
droplet, in many of them, drawing it in ink on the paper with a broad brush
or carving it into the rocks and accentuating it with the silver leaf. There is
a simple strength to this approach that is reminiscent of Japanese traditions
and Mireya has sought inspiration there, particularly when it comes to her
choice of materials and the installation of her work. This can perhaps be best
seen in her works on paper and paper, indeed, place a large role in Japanese
art and aesthetics.
“Western paper turns away the light, while our paper seems to take it in,
to envelop it gently, like the soft surface of a first snowfall. It gives off no
sound when it is crumpled or folded, it is quiet and pliant to the touch, as
the leaf of a tree.” This description is from a book by the Japanese writer
Jun’ichirō Tanizaki, In Praise of Shadows, where he attempted to explain the
importance of aesthetics in his country. According to tradition, washi paper
is made with fibres from the bark of certain trees, not from wood pulp which
is most commonly used in the West and it really does seem to have a very
different presence. It seems thin but is actually quite strong, it seems nearly
transparent and it does seem to respond differently to the light so that the ink
drawings on the surface come alive, as though lit from within. Mireya makes
full use of these characteristics when she paints her simple shapes in ink and
then hangs the paper in the space and lets the play of light and shadows
bring it to life. Tanizaki also wrote about the shadows that he considered to
be the key to understanding Japanese ideas about beauty. “The quality that
we call beauty, however, must always grow from the realities of life, and our
ancestors, forced to live in dark rooms, presently came to discover beauty in
shadows, ultimately to guide shadows towards beauty’s end.”
This thinking can be found in all of Mireya’s work and it guides her approach
to her materials. It is no coincidence that she has also created many outdoor
works where she uses nature directly, only adding the bare minimum necessary
to express her idea in the environment. In this exhibition nature is also present
in the materials used and because of this the works seem to open the door
to an experience of beauty that lies beyond the man-made, in the material
and in nature itself.”
Jón Proppé art writer on Mireya Samper.