2017 Venice Biennale News The Talent

Takahiro Iwasaki Will Represent Japan at Venice Biennale in 2017


Takahiro Iwasaki.


Artist Takahiro Iwasaki has been selected to represent Japan at the 2017 Venice Biennale, according to the Japan Foundation. Iwasaki, who is based in Hiroshima, will be showing a work called Upside-Down Forest, which addresses the nature of Venice as a city built upon wooden stakes as well as the design of the iconic Itsukushima Shrine.

In a statement on the Japan Foundation’s website, Iwasaki describes the background of the work:

By creating the different perspectives of looking upward/looking downward for the first exhibit, I hope to create a multifaceted spatial experience…Furthermore, as the differing perspectives of artificial vs. natural, order vs. chaos, and history vs. present complement each other, I hope that the viewers will become aware of the fragility of things, the flow of the passage of time, and the trompe-l’oeil effect of changing perception.

After obtaining an MFA from the University of Edinburgh and a Ph.D. from Hiroshima City University, Iwasaki made his career by sculpting detailed structures out of everyday objects.

The curator for the pavilion, Meruro Washida, who is a curator at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, said in a statement, “Iwasaki’s works, characterized by his use of everyday objects, the technique of creating a figurative representation, and fine handiwork, could also be described as ‘Japanese.’ ”

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