~FUTOSHI MIYAGI/THE COCKTAIL PARTY
FUTOSHI MIYAGI – ‘THE COCKTAIL PARTY’
APRIL 10 thru May 2009
DANIEL REICH GALLERY – 537 A WEST 23rd St – CHELSEA – NYC
. . . oh, that color red – signifier !! oh, for hand-knit – code.
FUTOSHI MIYAGI, ‘AWOL (Gloves for Him)’, 2009. acrylic wool, wooden knitting sticks
‘The Cocktail Party’ is titled “after a story by OSHIRO TATSUHIRO … about the rape of an Okinawan girl by an American soldier stationed at a military base where her father attends a cocktail party, a mark of his post-war upwardly mobile national identity. Miyagi was intrigued by the story’s use of female characters or more broadly the feminine to denote powerlessness and abjection and parallel chosen states of masochism and abasement in relation to race and the homosexual.”
” … Miyagi’s ‘The Cocktail Party’ is about the floating, diffuse and painful yet still experimental nature of identity so that in the face of reticence, one becomes a brief description.” – GALLERY PRESS RELEASE/ESSAY
it’s also extremely visual, to a point of silence.
man-made materials are deconstructed. to re-become a re-definition of craft. in reverse.
and therefore – emerges – as a visual clue to the sad story that Futoshi tells, or fashions, really – out of .. small tell-tale 3-D tableaus.
that are beautiful in their own right. just as is – even, if there there were no binding story line.
a feeling of snakes, and evil charm overwhelms the fabric’s original function and gaiety.
capture and trailing submission.
bottomline: headless – animal vases.
FUTOSHI MIYAGI, ‘Welcome’, 2009. Ceramic figures, flowers.
let’s step back in time, in a real sense:
FUTOSHI MIYAGI and DANIEL REICH welcomed us to ‘The Cocktail Party’ installation – a couple of days before the actual opening !!
FUTOSHI MIYAGI, ‘Cocktail Party’, glasses, ceramics.
amidst the small installation chaos – a simple wooden table with a selection of glassware – strikes a pose.
a contrarian in spirit – I’m always attracted to situations that challenge photographic rendering !!
and the beauty of contrasts. glass surfaces and varied vessel shapes. refraction and the holding volume. the sense of a fleeting moment – a fleeting beauty. how is it conveyed by such a simple arrangement?
how does a small array of glassware say something about hospitality ? vulnerability. sexuality.
the tiniest moments in the day. the frailest transparencies/the chime of visual codes and relationships.
Futoshi Miyagi, ‘Heiwa Street #1 (Sensei)’, 2009. polyester, cotton.
at first encounter, I perceived these displays as simply visual ‘wonderments’, oddities on the on-going road of new art experience. a kind of craft curiosity – a backwards, decontructed, ‘reverse’ craft !! for strange times – then I realized, as clues of the sad narrative seeped in – they were much more loaded, emotive symbols.
they were about cultural experience, gone haywire.
personal experience, societal clash. prejudice, “rural mythology and American occupiers” – Japan and the USA – domination/isolation – war history – cultural history interwoven – deconstructed !! silently. softly. but completely shredded. while alive. and pinned down.
REESE’S – American commercial candy product. deconstructed. ironically into a contemporary Japanese craft form ?
or, at any rate a visual symbol.
FUTOSHI MIYAGI, ‘Untitled (Dad)’, 2009. Gum (paper, tin foil).
FUTOSHI MIYAGI, ‘To Where Spider Flies’, 2009
wooden frame, glass, digital print.
FUTOSHI MIYAGI, ‘Five-Year-Old’s Engagement Ring’, 2009
Ryukyu glass, flower chafer, string
PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH