Thursday, April 30, 2009

Artist Spotlight :: Yumi Kori

It's hard for most of us here at the MF to believe, but we opened Inner and Outer Space one year ago this week. Most of the pieces stayed on exhibit for the published run of the show (04.46.2008 – 01.11.2009), but there were two we decided to extend. Sarah Oppenheimer's 610-3356 remains open indefinitely on the 4th floor of 500 Sampsonia Way and Yumi Kori's kanata will be open through Sunday, May 10th, on the museum's lower level. In honor of its closing next week, here's an Artist Spotlight (including audio) on Yumi Kori.

kanata, 2008
water, wood, rubber, light, sound system

"kanata" by Yumi Kori

In the deep end of shade
Open the door to light space
The stream of darkness reflects
Glint of the hereafter
Luminescence obliterating memory

“kanata” means “far in the distance” in Japanese. It can imply simply a far off place or the space that exists beyond one’s perception. I hope the viewer will obtain a contemplative state of mind by looking at the light space in the dark water and be able to travel beyond the worldly. --Yumi Kori

Working as an architect and visual artist, Yumi Kori creates spatial installations: worlds to inhabit and experience. Here Kori immerses us in an underground ocean of darkness, causing the viewer to lose some sense of space and time.

The visitor is drawn to the pier—walking out over the water. There is an almost gravitational pull toward the red doorway, a rectangle of hazy light that appears in the darkness. It calls to us—inviting, yet forbidding.

The red rectangular outline frames a textured space behind, offering a tangible reality, and yet some part of it is a reflection. Kori is not just offering an abstract space or form, the red doorway is instead a convergence of reality and illusion. It fluctuates like an optical illusion between depth and flatness depending on where the viewer focuses their attention or depth perception. Visitors feel like they are traveling and yet go nowhere physically, but instead somewhere in the mind, between eye and brain.

The piece encourages us to ask some existential questions: why are we here? This is a space in which to contemplate existence. Kori is interested in creating desire in the audience—the desire to “go”—somewhere—but where? Why do we all have this desire to “go”—where are we going? She is asking us to consider: what is the purpose of this life; where are we all headed on our personal journeys? Is it destiny or Karma that determines the course of our life?

The space is like a hidden lagoon under the movement of every day life above; visitors and staff in the Mattress Factory building. The sound installation—a layering of white noise that Kori composed for the work, creates and accentuates the self-contained nature of the space.

(Taken from Dara Meyers-Kingsley's Curator's Text)

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