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If artists are the new fingers, then Yoshihiro Suda is pointing in the corner. While some use video to create awareness about the fallout of colonialism and others put the mundane in a gallery to bring new attention to it, Suda’s art makes viewers reconsider exhibition spaces themselves.
Suda’s art actually works on two levels, one as object, the other as concept. There is a certain irony that the artist uses one organic material to replicate another — he carves perfectly realistic duplicates of flowers, sprouts and vines out of wood. Imagine carving a boulder out of a block marble and you’ll get a sense of the absurdity of it.
As a concept, the placement of his pieces calls attention to out-of-the-way spots and unfilled spaces. Here he is working as a Postmodernist, looking inward at the art world. It’s a smart move, as the flawlessly crafted objects themselves would wilt if simply held up as contemporary art.
At the Gallery Koyanagi (www.gallerykoyanagi.com) in Ginza, where Suda is enjoying one of several concurrent exhibitions, larger works have been installed around the gallery. They are mostly of lifesize flowers, which, at this scale, suffer from their verissimilitude. It is his smaller installations of weeds and fallen, rotting leaves that have been the most surprising — you could easily pass them by before realizing that they are the work. But if you enjoy quiet contemplation in whitewashed modern spaces, finding the flowers at Koyanagi is a fine way to spend 15 minutes.
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