YAMAGUCHI Akira will participate in the group exhibition ‘Unimaginable by One Mind Alone: Exquisite Corpses from the William Green Collection of Japanese Prints’ at the Mead Art Museum, Massachusetts, opening on Thursday 14th April.
Possessing an extensive collection of Japanese prints, the Mead Museum commissioned four contemporary artists and an artist collaborative to respond to some of the collection’s partial prints in the spirit of the Surrealist game known as the “Exquisite Corpse.”
The Mead’s rich Japanese print collection was the gift of William T. Green, founder of the Ukiyo-e Society of America (now the Japanese Art Society of America). Mr. Green was a man of modest means who purchased Japanese prints voraciously, often in combined lots. As a result, nearly 200 of the over 4,000 prints in the Green Collection are “orphaned,” fragmentary panels that Bradley Bailey, the show’s organizer, says are “like an incomplete sentence begging to be made whole.”
Bailey, a former curatorial fellow at the Mead who holds the position of associate curator of Asian art at the Ackland Museum of Art at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, allowed each artist to select one or more designs from the Mead’s collection and extend them into full compositions. They were given complete freedom to create anything they could imagine, Bailey says, “as long as their creations were connected to the lines of the original print, a guideline taken from the Surrealists themselves.”
Yamaguchi calls the opportunity unique. “It was the first time I created a work with the prerequisite that my work would be displayed together with the original. I tried to judge the personality of the earlier picture, and from there, link my piece iconographically,” so that “a slight sense of a leap between the works would emerge.”
The exhibition was made possible thanks to the generous support of the Charles H. Morgan Fine Arts Fund, the Collins Print Room Fund, the Mead Art Acquisitions Fund, the Templeton Photography Fund, the Hall and Kate Peterson Fund, and the Wise Acquisition Fund.
Thursday 14th April – Sunday 24th July 2016
9am – midnight on Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays
9am – 5pm on Fridays and Saturdays
Closed on Mondays
Mead Art Museum
41 Quadrangle, Amherst, Massachusetts, MA 01002, U.S.A.
Participating artists: Paul Binnie, Ely Kim, Studio Swine (Azusa Murakami and Alexander Groves), Gregory Vershbow, YAMAGUCHI Akira