The Mirror Stage
exhibition view Karst Projects, 2013
courtesy of the artist and TARO NASU
Simon Fujiwara lives and works in Berlin. Only thirty-three years old, he has already received international acclaim, winning the Cartier Award for emerging contemporary artists in 2010 and holding a major solo exhibition at Tate St Ives in the UK in 2012. Fujiwara has a Japanese father and British mother, and this is the first solo museum show in his Japanese homeland. Due to his international background—he spent the first four years of his life in Japan, and the rest of his childhood in Europe, mainly in his mother’s home country in the UK—Fujiwara has developed a sense for critically examining what is considered ‘obvious’, and uses vivid techniques to express what he finds.
Fujiwara creates installation that incorporate a combination of various elements, including paintings, sculpture, video and sometimes others’ works. His installations, which have very much the feel of a stage, are about actual social issues and the artist’s own family history, but also include infusions of fiction. These “lies that make us realise truth” represent the fact that various hidden intentions, backgrounds, and sometimes ulterior motives lie behind the facts and customs that we usually accept entirely without question. In today’s connected and diverse world, the speed and frequency with which we encounter different values is increasing. Fujiwara’s perspective and humour are important precisely because we live in an age when the person sitting next to you does not necessarily share the same ‘common sense’ as you.
Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery’s exhibit space has been remade into a factory production line that will turn out some of the art works during the exhibition. The show is a chance for people living in this day and age to consider what happiness really is, and to gain a renewed sense of the complex beauty of humanity and the power of art. Viewers are invited to re-examine the true nature of those things that appear to you to be ‘obvious’, and discover the world that lies beyond.