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Nomura Koken: 'Thousands of Suns' and 'Thirty-six views of the Kölner Dom'

05.03.2004 to 04.07.2004

 Paper-Installation and Photography

The Museum of East Asian Art presents in this exhibition two series of work - 'Thousands of Suns' and 'Thirty-six views of the Kölner Dom' - by the Japanese artist Nomura Koken.

In the foyer, the visitor is welcomed by 'Tausend Sonnen' (thousands of suns), an installation consisting of several rings, each created by folding about 90 three-layered paper squares (9 x 9 cm). The installation relies on universal geometric forms: folded squares result in triangles, which, if tucked into each other form a circle.

The materials are old newspapers, posters and calendars. Through Koken's work, the already used and devalued paper undergoes an aesthetic conversion into an art object, bypassing the logic of recycling as a pure means of efficiency.

The second set of work consists of a series of photographs, 'Thirty-six views of the Kölner Dom'. This is a reference to 'Thirty-six views of Mount Fuji' (1832) by Japanese wood-cut artist Katsushika Hokusai (1760 - 1849).

Japan's highest mountain, Mount Fuji, has been and still is one of the most popular subjects in Japanese painting. Time and again, Mount Fuji is presented as a religious and aesthetic motif.

Koken perceives parallels with the Kölner Dom, famous as Cologne's most important cathedral, tourist attraction and postcard motif.