Home Fires 07: Yoshinori Niwa

19 - 25 June 2020

 

In this Home Fires Yoshinori Niwa discusses his recent work Immigrants are Guarding This Country (2020). The work was presented this past January in Niwa's solo exhibition From 1 October 2017: Face Cover Ban in Austria at das weisse haus, Vienna, Austria.

  • Yoshinori Niwa’s practice takes the form of social interventions, executed through performance, video and installation. Niwa deploys a nonsensical vernacular...

     

     

     

    Yoshinori Niwa’s practice takes the form of social interventions, executed through performance, video and installation. Niwa deploys a nonsensical vernacular to examine socio-political realities, an artistic strategy whose roots can be traced to the post-war Japanese avant-garde. His works’ titles are often self-explanatory, usually providing an account of the performance contained within the film itself. Through the construction of absurd scenarios, Niwa exposes and evaluates the systems that drive contemporary society.

  • 'An inversion of traditional gatekeeping roles, the work highlights the extent to which politicized notions of inclusion/exclusion are often marked...

    Photo: Carmen Alber, das weisse haus, Vienna, Austria

    "An inversion of traditional gatekeeping roles, the work highlights the extent to which politicized notions of inclusion/exclusion are often marked by forms of xenophobia based on language, skin color, and religion. With the recent appointment of Alma Zadić, the daughter of Bosnian refugees, as Austria’s first minister with a migrant background, the piece is perhaps Niwa’s most topical. Indeed, Niwa’s virtual lack of coverage by the Austrian media (as well as the vitriol aimed at Zadić) speaks to the dangers of exercising political power and cultural authority within narrowly prescribed boundaries that limit and exclude based on perceived (and often misconceived) differences."

     

    - Brian Haman, Art Asia Pacific

  • In the studio

  • Niwa graduated from Tama Art University’s Department of Moving Images and Performing Arts in 2005. Recent solo exhibitions include From 1 October 2017: Face Cover Ban in Austria,  das weisse haus, Vienna, Austria (2020); That Language Sounds Like a Language, Edel Assanti, London (2017); Yoshinori Niwa: Selected Video Works, Mori Art Museum, Japan (2017); Against Name, Minatomachi Art Table, Japan (2016); Research & Production: Artistic Methods in a Transitional Period, Tamsui Historical Art Museum, Taiwan (2014). Group exhibitions include Beautiful Village, Aomori Museum of Art, Aomori, Japan (2019); Volksfronten, Steirischer Herbst’18, Graz, Austria (2018); Setouchi Triennale 2016, Japan (2016); Roppongi Crossing 2013: OUT OF DOUBT, Mori Art Museum (2013); Double Vision: Contemporary Art From Japan, Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Haifa Museum of Art (2012). Niwa’s work is included in international collections including the Mori Art Museum (Tokyo), Kadist Art Foundation (San Francisco / Paris), Hitotsubashi University (Tokyo) and the Fukutake Foundation (Kagawa). Niwa lives and works in Vienna, Austria.

  • "For me, the art of avant-garde or the main subject of art is facing the question of how to solidify and realise the human experience through activity. This is inspired by a firm conviction whereby feedback and struggle will be involved in the process of spontaneous realisation."

     

    - Yoshinori Niwa