Collection Exhibition

Son et Lumière – Material, Transition, Time

2012.4.28(Sat.) - 2012.11.4(Sun.)



2012.4.28(Sat.) - 2012.11.4(Sun.)
10:00 - 18:00 (until 20:00 on Fridays and Saturdays)


21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa

*The exhibition period of Gallery 12 and Long-Term Project is April 28, 2012- August 31, 2012


Mondays, July 17, and September 18 (Open on April 30, July 16, August 13, September 17 and October 8)


On the day
Adult : ¥350
University : ¥280
Elemen/ JH/ HS : Admisson free
65 and over : ¥280

Group (20P and over)
Adult : ¥280
University : ¥220
Elemen/ JH/ HS : Admisson free

*Advance ticket will not be on sale.

For More Information:

21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
Phone: +81-76-220-2800
Facsimile: +81-76-220-2802

In light there is darkness, in sound silence. Neither of these pairings are mutually exclusive concepts.
Rather in each case the latter is a property inherent in the former. “Son” is the French word for “sound,”
“lumière” for “light.” The origins of “son et lumière” can be traced back to an event in France in 1952.
Since then the term has come to designate an elaborate outdoor spectacle featuring dramatic sound
effects, narration, and lighting projected onto the façade of a famous building or ruin. Once the sun has
set, lights pierce the darkness, music swells, and the glitzy and magical scene fills the audience with
awe. These presentations impose a rigid uniformity on the place in question, substituting its unique
qualities with superficial light and sound effects.
In this contemporary age of information overload and excessive energy consumption, we find ourselves
at the mercy of mechanical devices that measure and constrain our every waking moment. But once
freed from the tyranny of time, our perception is transformed; ordinary phenomena appear before us in
fresh and new forms. Beams of light, movements of sound, the waning and waxing of the moon, the
patina of age on metal—within these organic temporal spaces, the passage of time is multi-vectored,
and each individual experience becomes a journey with an unknowable multiplicity of meanings.
This exhibition conceives of the artist as a traveler on this journey and reexamines the world through the
prisms of “material,” “transition,” and “time.” In their work, the fourteen artists featured here—Akiyama
Yo, Awazu Kiyoshi, Jan Fabre, Peter Fischli David Weiss, Kimura Taiyo, Kishimoto Sayako, Kusama
Yayoi, Gordon Matta-Clark, Carsten Nicolai, Gerhard Richter, Saito Makato, Tashima Etsuko, Magnus
Wallin, Andy Warhol—impose physical form onto that which is inherently immaterial—the self, images,
and actions—through their mastery of the properties and power of materials. Or, put differently, their
artistic expression as determined by the materials is manifested to us as a state of motion, launching us
on our own unknowable journey.
While the stroll through the cosmos of thought that this exhibition affords visitors may indeed be
transitory and ephemeral, it will leave each person with a unique and indelible memory.

Selected Exhibited Works

  • ZONE II, 1991
    ceramic, steel, H97×W158×D102cm
    collection: 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
    © AKIYAMA Yo
    photo: SAIKI Taku


    Born in Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi, Japan in 1953. Lives in Kyoto, Japan.
    Since establishing a strikingly original manner of ceramic expression by
    inducing cracks in black earthenware, Akiyama Yo has employed black
    earthenware and high-temperature firing in expressing the geological
    forces that shape the land. He has thus pioneered new formal expression in clay and won international acclaim. Working in black earthenware, Akiyama has produced Peneplain, a series of works created with clay slabs resembling cracked and scorched earth. In developing this series, Akiyama gradually moved from the exterior surface of the work to the completion of its interior and brought the work to consummation in the form of a sphere. While continually varying his firing techniques and expressive style, Akiyama always engages the clay in a pure dialogue, seeking to illicit from it expression of the varying character of the land.

  • Parts from "Small Silver Landscape (A・B・C)", 1975
    lead, W34.4×D52cm
    collection: 21st Century Museum of
    Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
    © AWAZU Yaeko

    AWAZU Kiyoshi

    Born in Tokyo, Japan in 1929. Died in Kawasaki, Kanagawa, Japan in 2009.
    AWAZU taught himself how to draw and paint. He won the Grand Prize of the Japan Advertising Artists’ Club for his poster Give Our Sea Back in 1955 and established the foundations of postwar Japanese graphic design as he engaged with reproduction and mass production of images through design and printing techniques. His work was diverse and cross-disciplinary. In 1960, he participated in the architectural movement known as Metabolism. In 1977, he submitted Graphizm Three Part Work to the Saõ Paulo Biennale. Since 1980, he studied pictographs and the writing of the indigenous peoples of America. He turned a sharply critical eye on contemporary civilization and created a character called H2O Earthman, a wonder boy representing the 21st century. He has continued to explore the nature of human beings in the context of the many things that live on earth. In recent years, the totality of his prescient work is being seriously reexamined.

  • The Little Street Fighter, 1978/2006
    wood, polyester, thumbnails, nails, sugar cube
    collection: 21st Century Museum of
    Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
    © Angelos /Jan Fabre
    photo: Attilio Maranzano

    Jan FABRE

    Born in Antwerp, Belgium, in 1958. Lives there.
    Jan Fabre has been extremely active since the 1980s in a range of genres including art, theater, opera, and performance. Along with drawings based on his observations of insects and spiders and sculptures incorporating animal carcasses and stuffed specimens, he has also produced performances using blood and salt and poems. These various artistic pursuits, which are all connected, inquire into contemporary Christian culture and its meaning while confronting us with universal questions concerning such things as the basis of human existence, life and death, religion and science, and human beings and art.

  • Son et Lumière - Le rayon vert, 1990
    flashlight, turntable, plastic cup, adhesive tape
    collection: 21st Century Museum of
    Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
    © Peter FISCHLI David WEISS
    photo: WATANABE Osamu

    Peter FISCHLI David WEISS

    Peter Fischli Born 1952 in Zurich, Switzerland. Lives there.
    David Weiss Born 1946 in Zurich, Switzerland. Died there in 2012.
    In 1979, Fischli and Weiss presented "Sausage Photographs", a series
    using sausage, ham and sundry other small items to reproduce everyday
    scenarios. Thereafter, the artists demonstrated an extraordinarily flexible command of various media, directing an earnest gaze at familiar scenes and objects and relying on both meticulous planning and randomness to highlight differences in meaning and diversity in interpretation. Endowed with a punk attitude arising from their rebellion against the ruling structure at a time when the art world was dominated by such concept-driven movements as minimalism and conceptualism, they expended vast amounts of time and energy on their work while restricting themselves to the use of familiar materials, clear-cut mechanisms, and their own technology. Their work mixes the massive and the minute, the ordinary and extraordinary, reason and irrationality, order and disorder to expose the true nature of human society.

  • Video as Drawing, 1997-2000
    video, monitor, video deck,
    tissue paper, toilet roll
    11min. 10sec.
    collection: 21st Century Museum of
    Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
    © KIMURA Taiyo
    photo: NAKAMICHI Atsushi/
    Nacása & Partners

    KIMURA Taiyo

    Born in Kamakura, Kanagawa, Japan in 1970. Lives there.
    Since the early 1990s, Kimura Taiyo has been creating sculptures,
    installations, and video works using the kinds of materials everyone living in Japan comes across on a daily basis, such as milk cartons, garbage bags, and laundry baskets. Often combining a sense of physical incongruity and visceral displeasure with touches of humor and cruelty, his works represent an enquiry into the nature of human existence, which is one of the ongoing themes of Kimura’s creative activities.

  • At Noon (Japanese Flower Series,
    Wild Cherry Blossoms)
    , 1984
    acrylic, lacquer on veneer panel
    collection: 21st Century Museum of
    Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
    © IIDA Yoshiko
    photo: SAIKI Taku

    KISHIMOTO Sayako

    Born in Nagoya, Aichi, Japan in 1939. Died there in 1988.
    Kishimoto Sayako was involved in the movement of “Neo Dadaism
    Organizers” which was formed in Tokyo in the 1960s, and worked actively presenting performance and painting until she died in 1988. Her diverse works were always based on severe criticism on the social framework consisting of male-driven culture, power-oriented culture and phallic society. In the 1980s in particular, through aggressive activities in giving performances and showing dynamic paintings, she deepened her social criticism further raising questions about the way the individual should be and self-expression.

  • I’m Here, but Nothing, 2000-
    mixed media installation
    dimensions variable
    collection: 21st Century Museum of
    Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
    © Yayoi Kusama
    photo: NAKAMICHI Atsushi/
    Nacása & Partners

    KUSAMA Yayoi

    Born in Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan in 1929. Lives in Tokyo, Japan.
    Kusama Yayoi, whose career stretches back more than 50 years, has had a major impact on the art world both in Japan and overseas. She began exhibiting work in Japan in the early 1950s before moving to the U.S. in 1957. She based herself in New York, creating installations and staging various performances. In the 1970s she returned to Japan, where she continues to live and work. Starting out from paintings that depicted her own experiences from childhood, she has gone on to produce large two-dimensional, three-dimensional, and installation pieces, her trademark repeating and multiplying polka dots and nets representing her unique outlook on the world.

  • Day’s End, 1975
    super 8 film, 23min. 10sec.
    collection: 21st Century Museum of
    Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
    courtesy: David Zwirner, New York
    © Estate of Gordon Matta-Clark

    Gordon MATTA-CLARK

    Born in New York, USA in 1943. Died there in 1978.
    Gordon Matta-Clark’s father was the Surrealist Roberto MATTA. After
    studying French literature at Paris-Sorbonne University and architecture at Cornell University, he worked as an assistant to Dennis OPPENHEIM, then embarked on a career as an artist. Matta-Clark’s early efforts included varied performances that drew numerous other artists into involvement. He later moved to works in which he cut, removed and exhibited sections of abandoned buildings. These works he documented using photographs and video and actively showed in the form of artist books and other publications.

  • telefunken, 2000
    CD, CD-Player, 3 Sony HiBlack Trinitron TVs
    dimensions variable
    collection: 21st Century Museum of
    Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
    © carsten nicolai
    courtesy: Galerie EIGEN+ART Leipzig/Berlin
    photo: NAKAMICHI Atsushi/
    Nacása & Partners

    Carsten NICOLAI

    Born in Karl-Marx-Stadt (former East Germany; now Chemnitz) in 1965.
    Lives in Berlin, Germany and Chemnitz, Germany.
    As well as being active as a visual artist, Carsten Nicolai is also a sound
    artist and cofounder of the record label “raster noton”. Nicolai, who studied landscape design at university, views phenomena not as separate entities but as a composite whole and pursues the creation of a new realm by combining various existing genres such as painting, sculpture, architecture, sound, the natural sciences, and philosophy. In recent years he has unveiled a series of laboratory-like pieces in which he offers the audience a visual/audio experience by transforming space.

  • Eight Grey, 2001
    grey enamel on glass and steel
    H320×W200×D30cm each, 8 pieces
    collection: 21st Century Museum of
    Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
    © Gerhar RICHTER
    photo: KIOKU Keizo

    Gerhard RICHTER

    Born in Dresden, Germany in 1932. Lives in Cologne, Germany.
    Gerhard Richter received his art education under the former East German regime, but was strongly influenced by abstract expressionism which he encountered during a trip to West Germany and moved to Dusseldorf six months before the Berlin Wall was erected. In 1962 he unveiled Table, which was based on a newspaper photograph. Since then the overriding theme of his work has been ‘Schein’ (illusion, appearance, semblance), which he interprets as the foundation reflecting all existence, and he has continually crossed the boundaries between visibility and invisibility, photographs and paintings, reality and fabrication as part of his pursuit of ‘seeing’, while at the same time applying his masterful painting technique to work in a variety of different styles.

  • Myself Portrait 01, 2006
    acrylic and oil ink on canvas
    collection: 21st Century Museum of
    Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
    © SAITO Makoto
    photo: SAIKI Taku

    SAITO Makoto

    Born in Fukuoka, Japan in 1952. Lives in Tokyo, Japan.
    SAITO has been involved in graphic design since the 1970s, attracting
    attention in Japan and abroad. He has won many prizes as a designer in
    Japan, America, Europe, and South America, reflecting the impact he has
    had on his times in the field of design. Along with his design work he has
    been seriously engaged in painting since the mid-1990s. The critic ASADA Akira has described his expression as “true computer painting.” SAITO intrepidly breaks down and reassembles the human image. His art explores deep inner emotions and boldly presents the human figure in a new way.

  • Cornucopia 02-XII, 2002
    ceramic, glass, H70.0×W85.0×D58.0cm
    collection: 21st Century Museum of
    Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
    © TASHIMA Etsuko
    photo: SAIKI Taku

    TASHIMA Etsuko

    Born in Osaka, Japan in 1959. Lives there.
    Taking up motifs of cacti, flowers, protozoan and the female body,
    Tashima’s early works were on a large-scale in bright colors and bold forms. Since the beginning of the 1990s, she has shifted her style, toning down colors and decorations, sorting out images she had, and producing works in such a way as to pursue the essence of form. In the “Cornucopia” series, which is her main topic at present, she realizes artworks full of life by combining glass and ceramics, making the most of the characteristics of both materials.

  • EXIT, 1997
    3D animated film, 3min. 40sec.
    collection: 21st Century Museum of
    Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
    © Magnus WALLIN

    Magnus WALLIN

    Born in Malmö, Sweden in 1965. Lives there.
    Based on his own experiences, Magnus Wallin casts doubt on the social
    distinction between the able-bodied and the physically disabled, highlighting fixed notions such as good and evil, right and wrong, and beauty and ugliness that derive from the illusion of the image of a perfect, ideal human body and creating works based on his observations of alienated ‘others’. Referencing movies and iconography from the past, including the works of the 15th century painter Hieronymus BOSCH, Wallin throws into relief the value systems and power structures on the basis of which people have alienated others throughout history.

  • Diamond Dust Shoes, 1980-81
    polymer paint, silkscreen ink and diamond dust on canvas
    collection: 21st Century Museum of
    Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
    © 2012 The Andy Warhol Foundation for
    the Visual Arts,Inc. / ARS, N.Y. / JASPAR, Tokyo

    Andy WARHOL

    Born in Pittsburgh, USA in 1928. Died in New York, USA in 1987.
    Born to Czechoslovakian immigrants, Andy Warhol studied commercial art at Carnegie Institute of Technology. In the mid 1950s he worked as a
    commercial designer in New York before beginning to make fine art in 1960. Warhol met with stunning success after employing the techniques of mechanical reproduction, such as silkscreen, to create images from popular culture. He also launched a magazine, created experimental films, produced music and conducted various projects across a wide range of media. The result was his exerting a massive influence on subculture.

    Text: (FM) FUDO Misato, (KC) KITADE Chieko, (MD) MURATA Daisuke, (TKY) TAKASHIMA Yuichiroh, (YE) YOSHIOKA Emiko
    Translation: Brian AMSTUTZ, Stanley N. ANDERSON, Ian M. MCDONALD, Pamela MIKI, NISHIZAWA Miki, Fontaine Limited

"Sunset – Sunrise Ark" Courtyard Project

  • Patrick BLANC
    Green Bridge
    collection 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
    photo: NAKAMICHI Atsushi / Nacása & Partners

    Patrick BLANC "Sunset – Sunrise Ark" plan
    HIBINO Katsuhiko The seeds for “Asatte Asagao Project 21”

    Organized by:
    21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
    (Kanazawa Art Promotion and Development Foundation)
    Venue: Courtyard 3 in 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa and other
    July 2, 2012 – March 17, 2013 (plan)

    For more information


Organized by:

21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa (Kanazawa Art Promotion and Development Foundation)