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The Japan Foundation, Sydney

Ai Sasaki: Wayfinder's Passage 渡りの道しるべ

Where
The Japan Foundation
The Japan Foundation
Level 4, Central Park, 28 Broadway, Chippendale NSW 2008
When

Thursdays, 10am to 6pm Saturdays, 11am to 4pm Thursday 7 December 2023 to Saturday 27 January

Cost

Free

Ai Sasaki: Wayfinder’s Passage 渡りの道しるべ is a solo exhibition by Ai Sasaki, a contemporary Japanese artist based in Osaka.

Curated by Yu Iseki (curator of the Contemporary Art Gallery, Art Tower Mito), this exhibition features Sasaki’s recent works across mediums including drawings and oil paintings, as well as a new mural to be created using a sugar-based confectionery decorative technique called royal icing.

Through her works, Sasaki depicts scenes in which the worlds recollected from viewers’ ‘memories’ intersect with reality. Drawing from her experiences of living in various countries and regions, Sasaki’s art practice takes inspiration from the mythology, legends and stories of the lands she has visited, along with the landscapes, plants and animals she has encountered.

The exhibition’s title, Wayfinder’s Passage, reflects the theme for this collection of pieces: the Latham’s snipe, a migratory bird that travels from the most northern part of Japan, Hokkaido, to the Tasmanian islands. Although Sasaki’s mural will be dismantled after the exhibition’s conclusion, the artwork will be carved into the memories of visitors, along with Ai Sasaki’s story of the journey between Japan and Australia.

An event program accompanying the exhibition will be announced at a later date.

Artist's comments:

Sometimes, the Latham’s snipe flies continuously for six days over the equator from Hokkaido to Tasmania. Why do they decide to travel so far, and how do they do it?

We still don’t know everything about bird migration. They head towards the sun, are guided by the stars, feel the magnetism of the Earth and travel dynamically with the wind, using guideposts that us humans don’t know about. Furthermore, plants spread to distant places when they are carried by these birds. There is definitely a world out there that we, who rely and live on the land, cannot see.

What do the sun and stars mean to us, who live on various lands amidst human migration and historical connections? Perhaps we can find the answers in the trees and flowers, animals and landscapes, or within stories that have been handed down for generations since time immemorial. Using these as ‘guideposts’, I would like to find out more about the world according to my own scale.

About the glass surface mural:

The relief that has been created on the glass surface is actually a sculpture made of sugar. The image of a migratory bird called the Latham’s snipe carrying a forest on its journey from Japan to Australia has been preserved here as a single scene, and it will be on display here for a short time. This landscape will one day be erased and will live on as a story in the memories of those who have seen it.

Contact event organiser

The Japan Foundation, Sydney

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