WorkInfo
Appear

Dazaifu Tenmangu Museum

Indoor exhibition: May 15 – October 10, 2022

Outdoor installation on permanent display from May 15, 2022 onwards

To “Appear” means to become visible and to be perceived, or to be made clear by evidence. In the Eleventh Dazaifu Tenmangu Art Program, the latest installment in a series that began in 2006, Dazaifu Tenmangu exhibits the works of New York based artist Mika Tajima.

Born and raised in the United States to Japanese parents, Tajima’s works have examined themes such as the interplay between West and East and transitions and transmutations of matter, energy, and human spirit, from a global perspective. Visiting Dazaifu in 2019, she has created ten new works that reflect her updated knowledge of the shrine and Shinto, and her thinking on the cycles of Dazaifu Tenmangu’s history of more than 1100 years.

For the exhibition at Dazaifu Tenmangu, Tajima has created a series of site-specific works centered on materializing uncontainable natural and psychic energy. The works draw connections between the meditating human subject and the physics of material objects in relation to ideas of the “charged object”, “higher energy states”, “transitions”, and “substance”. Each of the art objects represent matter in changing physical states—they are absorbing and emitting energies of the physical and social world. These commissioned works reflect the artist’s continued investigation into the production and transmutation of matter, energy, and the human psyche – to contemplate new transformations and human freedom. Against technology’s imperative to scrape, extract and process all aspects of our daily life and energies, this body of work seeks new possibilities of agency—to be uncontainable, unscrapable and not yet knowable. Here, what is made visible is in constant transformation and fleeting.

The works will be sited in two spaces—indoor and outdoor—to underline the dynamic of containment and escape at play. Situated on the garden grounds will be a permanent installation comprised of Echo, a sculpture doubling as a sitting meditation platform, encircled by Narcissus (Dazaifu), an installation of blacklight-emitting sculptures. Employing an energy cycle, the meditation sculpture’s phosphorescent pigments are continuously recharged by solar energy and blacklight to emit its own glow, mirroring the excited energy states by the meditating subjects seated in the woods.

Within the Shrine museum, a quiet constellation of painting and sculptural objects materializes the spiritual and psychic activities specific to the context of Dazaifu Tenmangu. These objects act as abstract portraits, recording the daily light energy in the shrine, as in Tajima’s Art d’Ameublement paintings, or, as in Sense Object, encapsulating a year of human emotion into a crystal preserved for 1 billion years. A new series of Negative Entropy works depict audio recordings of prayers at the Honden that have been programmed into abstract patterns and woven on Jacquard looms, transmuting these ceremonies into textile.

These works contend with the elasticity of time where the past, present and future elide. The “material” of the psyche is subject to transformation in relation to the material world—from psychic abstraction to language to concrete object to image.

This program provides an opportunity to encounter a number of works created by Mika Tajima to visualize the energies of nature and the human spirit, as the fruits of her exploration, conversations, and lengthy contemplation on the shrine grounds.

Exhibition page: Keidai Art Museum

Outdoor installation page: Keidai Art Museum

Detail, Negative Entropy (Dazaifu Tenmangu, Morning Prayer and Offerings, Full Width, Red, Hex), 2021 Detail, Negative Entropy (Dazaifu Tenmangu, Morning Prayer and Offerings, Full Width, Red, Hex), 2021

Cotton, polyester, nylon, wool acoustic baffling felt, and white oak
54 7/8 x 109 7/8 x 2 15/16 inches (139.4 x 279.1 x 7.5 cm)
Courtesy TARO NASU
Photo Charles Benton

Echo, 2021 and Narcissus (Dazaifu), 2022 Echo, 2021, and Narcissus (Dazaifu), 2022

Permanent installation view, Dazaifu, Japan.

Courtesy TARO NASU
Photo by Yasushi Ichikawa

Negative Entropy (Dazaifu Tenmangu, Morning Prayer and Offerings, Gray, Quad), 2020 Negative Entropy (Dazaifu Tenmangu, Morning Prayer and Offerings, Gray, Quad), 2020

Cotton, polyester, nylon, wool acoustic baffling felt, and white oak
73 3/8 x 56 1/8 x 2 1/4 inches (186.4 x 142.6 x 5.7 cm)
Installation view, Mika Tajima: Appear, Dazaifu Tenmangu, Dazaifu, Japan, May 15 – October 10, 2022.

Courtesy TARO NASU
Photo by Yasushi Ichikawa

Installation view, Mika Tajima: Appear Installation view, Mika Tajima: Appear

Dazaifu Tenmangu, Dazaifu, Japan, May 15 – October 10, 2022.

Courtesy TARO NASU
Photo by Yasushi Ichikawa

Sense Object, 2021

Installation view, Mika Tajima: Appear, Dazaifu Tenmangu, Dazaifu, Japan, May 15 – October 10, 2022.

Courtesy TARO NASU
Photo by Yasushi Ichikawa

Installation view, Mika Tajima: Appear Installation view, Mika Tajima: Appear

Dazaifu Tenmangu, Dazaifu, Japan, May 15 – October 10, 2022.

Courtesy TARO NASU
Photo by Yasushi Ichikawa

Negative Entropy (Dazaifu Tenmangu, Morning Prayer and Offerings, Full Width, Red, Hex), 2021 Negative Entropy (Dazaifu Tenmangu, Morning Prayer and Offerings, Full Width, Red, Hex), 2021

Cotton, polyester, nylon, wool acoustic baffling felt, and white oak
54 7/8 x 109 7/8 x 2 15/16 inches (139.4 x 279.1 x 7.5 cm)
Installation view, Mika Tajima: Appear, Dazaifu Tenmangu, Dazaifu, Japan, May 15 – October 10, 2022.

Courtesy TARO NASU
Photo by Yasushi Ichikawa

Negative Entropy (Dazaifu Tenmangu, Morning Ritual, Purple, Double), 2021 Negative Entropy (Dazaifu Tenmangu, Morning Ritual, Purple, Double), 2021

Cotton, polyester, nylon, wool, wool acoustic baffling felt, and white oak
55 5/8 x 43 3/8 x 2 1/4 inches (141.3 x 110.2 x 5.7 cm)
Installation view, Mika Tajima: Appear, Dazaifu Tenmangu, Dazaifu, Japan, May 15 – October 10, 2022.

Courtesy TARO NASU
Photo by Yasushi Ichikawa

Installation view, Mika Tajima: Appear Installation view, Mika Tajima: Appear

Dazaifu Tenmangu, Dazaifu, Japan, May 15 – October 10, 2022.

Courtesy TARO NASU
Photo by Yasushi Ichikawa

Sense Object, detail, 2021

Installation view, Mika Tajima: Appear, Dazaifu Tenmangu, Dazaifu, Japan, May 15 – October 10, 2022.

Courtesy TARO NASU
Photo by Yasushi Ichikawa

Installation view, Mika Tajima: Appear Installation view, Mika Tajima: Appear

Dazaifu Tenmangu, Dazaifu, Japan, May 15 – October 10, 2022.

Courtesy TARO NASU
Photo by Yasushi Ichikawa

Installation view, Mika Tajima: Appear Installation view, Mika Tajima: Appear

Dazaifu Tenmangu, Dazaifu, Japan, May 15 – October 10, 2022.

Courtesy TARO NASU
Photo by Yasushi Ichikawa

Negative Entropy (Dazaifu Tenmangu, Morning Prayer and Offerings, Slate, Single), 2021 Negative Entropy (Dazaifu Tenmangu, Morning Prayer and Offerings, Slate, Single), 2021

Cotton, polyester, nylon, wool acoustic baffling felt, and white oak
36 7/8 x 28 5/8 x 2 1/4 inches (93.7 x 72.7 x 5.7 cm)
Courtesy TARO NASU
Photo: Charles Benton

Installation view, Mika Tajima: Appear Installation view, Mika Tajima: Appear

Dazaifu Tenmangu, Dazaifu, Japan, May 15 – October 10, 2022.

Courtesy TARO NASU
Photo by Yasushi Ichikawa

Detail, Echo, 2021 Detail, Echo, 2021

Permanent installation view, Dazaifu, Japan.

Courtesy TARO NASU
Photo by Yasushi Ichikawa

Echo, 2021, and Narcissus (Dazaifu), 2022 Echo, 2021, and Narcissus (Dazaifu), 2022

Permanent installation view, Dazaifu, Japan.

Courtesy TARO NASU
Photo by Yasushi Ichikawa

Echo, 2021, and Narcissus (Dazaifu), 2022 Echo, 2021, and Narcissus (Dazaifu), 2022

Permanent installation view, Dazaifu, Japan.

Courtesy TARO NASU
Photo by Yasushi Ichikawa

Detail, Echo, 2021, and Narcissus (Dazaifu), 2022

Permanent installation view, Dazaifu, Japan.

Courtesy TARO NASU
Photo by Yasushi Ichikawa

Echo, 2021, and Narcissus (Dazaifu), 2022 Echo, 2021, and Narcissus (Dazaifu), 2022

Permanent installation view, Dazaifu, Japan.

Courtesy TARO NASU
Photo by Yasushi Ichikawa

Detail, Narcissus (Dazaifu), 2022 Detail, Narcissus (Dazaifu), 2022

Permanent installation view, Dazaifu, Japan.

Courtesy TARO NASU
Photo by Yasushi Ichikawa

Echo, 2021, and Narcissus (Dazaifu), 2022 | Video documentation

Courtesy TARO NASU
Video by Tomomi Takano