Endless Tales is Yoko Fukushima’s first solo show in Beirut. The young artist will present three recent installations together with a filmed performance. Organic, minimal, delicate and hybrid, Yoko Fukushima’s formal work offers a contemplation of the cycle of life, a contemplation motivated by a desire to explore the smallest corners of temporal being.
With Oración de niña (the prayer of a little girl), a pair of candles representing the legs of a girl praying, the artist takes on the subject of life through the delicate and luminous movement of the flames, consuming the body frozen in the wax. Like a living being, a flame needs oxygen in order to shine, whilst the body disintegrates, melts and then disappears.
Berceau des mille lunes (the cradle of a thousand moons) from 2012 is a spider web created by the young artist out of rows of white and grey pearls. Here, the spider-mother-artist has spun a precious web to live in, and to protect herself and her offspring. Steeped in light, the pearly web sends a mysterious constellation of shadows onto the gallery’s walls. The work explores the relationship between mother and child, fragility and resistance, absence and presence.
In Swinging Humming from 2016, a swing plaited from two long strands of blond hair, Yoko Fukushima revisits the story of Rapunzel by the Brothers Grimm. This work is not about witches, cruelty or punishment though, but about destiny; the universal symbol of feminine beauty is a time-keeping instrument. Like a pendulum, the swing suspended from the sky hums and soothes. With its long strands of hair, it lightly touches the ground, gleans its shoots of violets and keeps moving towards eternity.
Oveja perdida (the lost sheep), is a filmed performance produced in 2011 during a residency in Spain. A looped projection, it shows a young girl, the artist herself, gathering pebbles that she finds along her way, placing them in the basket on her back. Like Hieronymus Bosch’s Vagabond, as a human being progresses through life, the pebbles accumulate and weighs down the body. For Yoko Fukushima, as for the Flemish master, every moment of life brings its share of experiences and decisions.
Yoko Fukushima was born in Gumma, Japan, in 1976. She lives and works in Paris since 1997.
Her childhood was marked by adventurous play and an island culture teaching her the appreciation of silence. In 1994 Yoko Fukushima was admitted to the Tokyo Kasei University to study visual and applied art. She left Japan in 1997 and moved to Paris where she discovered French culture while studying the language. In 1999 she enrolled at the Ecole des Beaux-arts de Versailles from where she graduated with honours in 2002. Since then she has continued her investigations and done several artist’s residencies in Spain, Hungary, France, United Kingdom and Croatia. In 2015, Yoko Fukushima participated in the exhibition Precious & Nothing curated by French philosopher Yves Michaud at Galerie Alice Mogabgab.