Kunito Nagaoka, Japanese artist was born in 1940 in Nagano. He lives in Kyoto and Berlin, and besides pursuing his career as a creative artist, he is a professor at the Kyoto Seika University. He has had several individual international exhibition; his works are kept at renowned public collections.
In 2013 he received The Konjyu Housyo award.
His project „Mors et Vita”, developed specially for Pécs, have a focus on the ethernal ant very current questions of human being.
Existence and decay, life and death – for many years, Kunito Nagaoka’s work has been focusing on these issues. Besides the natural and human tragedies, and the ever recurring wars, technical development has made man-made disasters an immediate threat.
Environmental pollution and water shortages threaten basic food supply. Termination of life becomes an everyday possibility.
The installation can be seen at Cella Septichora, the sacred resting place of the dead since the ancient times, where sometimes food was placed for afterlife journey. Cella Spetichora, the semi-underground cell, an intermediate space defined by a plane of different layers is a reminiscent of this, too. We live in the present, between past and future, Earth and Heaven. Kunito Nagaoka’s installation is constructed by these layers whilst attempting to bridge the gap between yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
Part of the installation is an exhibition of his colored etchings, called Iseki.
ISEKI – Excavations
Iseki: the Japanese symbol standing for excavations also means “ruins” or “remains”. The space of Cella Septichora is an excavation, and the remnants of past preserved.
The excavations is a search, intrusion into unknown layers. What is an artist looking for, when penetrates beneath the surface?
Why is he interested in the past?
Does it perhaps help get closer to himself?
Does it perhaps, because if you get to know who thread the way before you, you learn more about yourself: about who you are in the continuum of life?
Nagaoka engravings are the documents of the road leading into the subsurface, the research for traces and remains under the crust.
In the installation, under a round blue object, a symbolic space floats directing its gaze upward to the apse. The artist opens new perspective, the perspective of hope.
Close to the ground, under the blue object in the apse, the essential symbol of life, a clay bowl filled with water is seen. In the six side lobes, basic crops are found resembling a grain sacrifice. The seeds carry the promise of future life.