Artists Reijiro Wada
Venue Daniel Marzona, Berlin
All images Courtesy of the artist and SCAI The Bathhouse, Tokyo. Photo: Nick Ash
The large, free standing sculpture Scarlet Portal is composed of a brass frame which holds two glass panels. The whole structure is kept upright by a massive block of marble. The space between the panels is filled with red wine. The upper level of the otherwise spotless, monochrome red surface creates a vacuum, a fully transparent zone. This “opening” acts like an entrance, leading the viewer to a border, and pointing to what might lie beyond. Complex contrasts, such as real phenomena and phantoms, temporality and permanence, the natural and the made, are brought to mind.
The works in the series Memento Mori demonstrate a destructive or even violent tone. Okinawa was heavily destroyed and the landscape lost its original character, due to countless artillery bombardments during the so called “rain of steel“. The radical transformation of the Japanese landscape inspired this series of small sculptures. Heavily charged objects, like the head of an iron statue, or a stone which was exposed to radiation in Hiroshima, were forcefully thrown into cubes of concrete. The resulting craters freeze these violent encounters, and resemble small sites of destruction, like models of cultural and ideological clashes buried in history.
For the pictorial works of his Vanitas series, Wada stands two or more, brass plates at steep angles to each other on the floor, making it possible for fruit, thrown with great force into the construction, to remain there until it decomposes. Once the process of rotting is complete, Wada dismantles the arrangement and hangs the plates to create a diptych on the wall, leaving the random, oxidized, traces of the action on the plates. In doing so, Wada again gives the “void”, or absence, a sense of presence, a central theme of his practice.