Yuko Shiraishi: Space at East Gallery, Norwich University of the Arts

July 20th to September 18th 2021

Yuko Shiraishi: Space

With Annely Juda Fine Art, London


Tuesday 20 July to Saturday 18 September 2021

Tuesday – Saturday, 12-5pm


Admission free but booking online recommended.


‘It is illuminating to think about the relationship between the space we inhabit and the way in which we occupy it. We can sit on the floor, sit on a chair, stand, lie on the floor or lie on the bed. Because of my dual Japanese and English background, I’m particularly sensitive to existence to these differences. The way in which we occupy space directly influences how we interact with others. In Japan, where families live together in small spaces, people have to create privacy in their imagination. In England, you can just go into your room and shut the door. Space is something that can be created both physically and in the mind.’

Yuko Shiraishi, July 2009. Space Space publication.  


In her solo exhibition Space for East GalleryNUA, artist Yuko Shiraishi recreates her visionary architectural installation Space Elevator Tea House. The exhibition draws on a number of contemporary, topical themes such as space exploration, scientific endeavour, tradition and modernity. It also acknowledges the past year as an extraordinary time in which we have been forced to consider the space around ourselves, and our connection to the immediate environment and travel.

Made from stainless steel tubes and plexiglass the construction is a skeletal ghost building - replicating the form of an early 17th-century traditional Japanese tea house, but also posing as a vehicle into space. Shiraishi’s inspiration for the project comes from Arthur C Clarke's novel Fountains of Paradise in which the transportation of people and objects into space is made possible on a rigid metal ribbon.


The artist also uses this idea to contemplate architecture, the relationship between humanity and space, and that between Japanese tradition and Western science. East GalleryNUA will invite visitors to consider the artwork in a darkened section of the gallery, creating an atmosphere of stillness, contemplation and possibility.


In addition to this, the exhibition will present two new paintings by Shiraishi produced in 2020 during the first UK period of lockdown, Space (2020), and To Where.

July 7, 2021
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