Tetsuya Nagata Exhibition: Memories of the Group Jan. 11 (Thu.) to 17 (Wed.)
Since long ago, Japanese people have made wagashi traditional Japanese confections in the shapes of auspicious animals, plants and trees to celebrate Shichi-Go-San (a Shinto rite of passage for children), weddings, longevity milestones and other happy occasions. Motifs such as the crane, tortoise, sea bream, a pine-bamboo-plum combination, and others are used to express a wish or prayer for health and long life for children and family members. Tetsuya Nagata uses wooden wagashi molds along with Nishi-no-uchigami traditional handmade paper to create celebratory "confections" out of paper.
Over the years, Nagata has strove to impart tangible, visible form on memories—the imagined landscapes of individuals, history according to society as a whole, and other invisible phenomenon—through the medium of paper. He calls these projections in paper "KIOKUGAMI" (lit. "memory paper"). This exhibition features one of his Wagashi Zanmai series of works: the memories taken in and absorbed by these pieces speak to the physical and temporal existence of the molds (as objects) used to make celebratory confections as well as the stories of people who have made use of them.
The artist collects wooden wagashi molds made between the mid-to-late Edo Period and the Showa Period (roughly, the 18th to 20th centuries) from all over Japan and uses them to produce his works. The resulting paper confections reflect the regional characteristics, customs and other facets of their molds' places of origin. Nagata utilizes his creative abilities to cast and produce novel works of art in this way.
Enjoy the elegant, silk-like luster and shading of Nishi-no-uchigami paper as you view these vibrant, dynamic pieces for yourself.