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.’ ”