Stella Maris was a name I found in a dream is a new exhibition by the Spanish-born Japanese artist Yoi Kawakubo.
In the show, stories of Caribbean shipwrecks, tango dances and economic forecasts, mixed with dreamlike memories, pseudo-historical impressions, interplanetary travels or Skype interviews conform a body of subtle works comprised of polished walls, literary anagrams, sound and film installation, photographs, cocktail servings or oil paintings.
This elaborate network of intricate and imaginary connections, like fireflies forming fragile and ephemeral constellations on a summer night, takes us through a limbo between the real and the fictional, the past and the future, denial and affirmation. A realm where the answer fades before the question, finally reaching a misty lostness as a starting point for a new journey; a new search for a utopia.
This exhibition is the latest in a series of shows presenting works that Kawakubo has developed over the past two years. Shedding light into remote corners of history, these works deliver an experience that undoubtedly will transport the visitor to an archipelago of elucidations, mysteries and rumination on the history of mankind.
«J’écris enfin près de la Mer» (At last I am writing close to the sea) wrote Edouard Glissant, in his seminal work that paved the way to gaze beyond the horizon, beyond the Guiding Star, beyond the Stella Maris.
Yoi Kawakubo is an artist and photographer, born in Spain and currently based in Tokyo. He bases his works on themes regarding the ontology of photography, light, and social issues such as disaster affected areas of Fukushima and Tohoku. Formerly a financial trader, Kawakubo began his artistic career in earnest in 2008, participating in group exhibitions in Japan, Taiwan and the United States. Selected solo exhibitions include Speak the Unspeakable, Tokyo Wonder Site Hongo, Tokyo (2012); Infinite vision, Tokyo Arts Gallery, Tokyo (2013); To tell a (hi)story, Husk Gallery, London (2015), as the 2015 Artist in Residence at Art Action UK; Fall, Shiseido Gallery, Tokyo (2016). Kawakubo has also collaborated with other artists at The Vision of Contemporary Art, The Ueno Royal Museum of Art, Tokyo (2015); The 19th Taro Award for Contemporary Art, Taro Okamoto Museum of Art, Kawasaki. Kawakubo was shortlisted for the Sovereign Asian Art Prize (2012) and the 19th Taro Award for Contemporary Art (2016). He was also a nominee for the 10th Shiseido Art Egg (2016). He received the POLA Art Foundation Grant for overseas research in 2015-16 and he is currently the Florence Trust Artist in Residence 2016.
Daiwa Foundation Japan House, 13/14 Cornwall Terrace (Outer Circle) NW1 4QP
Image: Installation process of “Icarus Falls”, 2016, architectural intervention with economic forecast © Yoi Kawakubo