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Daniel Arsham’s “My First Show in Japan, Year 2044”

Daniel Arsham toys with our notions of what to expect from various materials and media, transcending the boundaries between art, architecture and performance. In so doing, he explores what is natural, what is fabricated, what has come about by chance and what is planned. The Brooklyn based artist is best known for the wit of his sculptures and stage settings, created using materials like minerals, crushed glass and volcanic ash, previously featured here on our blog. His manner of creating works out of shattered, ruined material causes them to be reformed into what he describes as "objects with purpose."

Daniel Arsham toys with our notions of what to expect from various materials and media, transcending the boundaries between art, architecture and performance. In so doing, he explores what is natural, what is fabricated, what has come about by chance and what is planned. The Brooklyn based artist is best known for the wit of his sculptures and stage settings, created using materials like minerals, crushed glass and volcanic ash, previously featured here on our blog. His manner of creating works out of shattered, ruined material causes them to be reformed into what he describes as “objects with purpose.”

Daniel Arsham currently has on display his first solo show in Japan at Nanzuka Gallery in Tokyo, his second in Asia following his show at Galerie Perrotin in Hong Kong last autumn. Titled “My First Show in Japan, Year 2044”, the show features his signature concept of “Fictional Archaeology”: mounted eroded sculptures of human figures and objects inspired by those solidified in ash from the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 A.D. Arhsam’s new body of work is a continuation of pieces that he’s made over the past couple years that take contemporary objects and reform them into materials that make us think about time- the basis of which confuses this idea of growth and decay.

The show is also an introduction of new materials he has been working with, where the natural process of oxidation and discoloration of the selenite and ash coveys time and age. They almost appear as if they are in a state of growth, and often times, the material itself is as important as the form it takes. “None of the work that I make ever has any specific meaning or purpose, Arsham explains, “it’s more of a kind of invitation for audiences to rethink all of the things that they know; to re-imagine the every day, rethink their position in relation to time and history.”

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