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"The Chrysanthemum and the Sword" Solo Exhibition by Natsuki Takauji
OPENING RECEPTION : Thursday February 8, 6 – 9 PM
Location: 23 Monroe St., New York, NY 10002
Exhibition dates: February 8- March 2, 2024
Gallery hours: Wed-Sun 12-6 PM
“This highly-anticipated debut is the culmination of Takauji’s career-long experiments in welding, fabric, technology and includes two new video works, the artist’s first-ever forays in the form. Through disparate components, including a sartorial installation that viewers must violate and flowers violently carved in the spirit of wagashi sweets, The Chrysanthemum and the Sword encapsulates Takauji’s lifelong contemplation of Japanese culture, and the female experience at large. Translating personal anecdote through varied artistic approaches, Takauji plumbs uncharted depths in Japanese aesthetics, transcending the famed woodblock, Otaku, and Fluxus movements defined the country’s visual identity. The title of Takauji’s solo show references a 1946 study that American anthropologist Ruth Benedict completed without ever visiting Japan, on orders from the US government, in order to help predict how Japanese society would behave after their defeat in WWII, and subsequent democratization. “
NATSUKI TAKAUJI was born in Tokyo, Japan, and moved to NYC in 2008 to discover herself as anartist after receiving a B.A. in Creative Writing from Waseda University. Her mother was also a writer,
however, she realized her strong desire to explore tactile and visual expression. She studied Fine Art at the historical art school, The Art Students League of New York, where she found her American life and
the beginning of her artistic career: in 2013, she was selected to the Model to Monument Program to create her first public installation “Window” at Riverside Park South, which was an over 18 foot colorful interactive sculpture with a functional swing, inspired by her mixed-media wire sculpture series. Since then, she is actively involved in the NYC public art scene as an exhibitor and curator/organizer. In 2021,
she became co-director of the program. She is also an instructor of metal sculpture at the League. She also co-founded The Artist Gardener NYC to activate green spaces in the local communities.
Natsuki has developed her interdisciplinary practice in diversity such as kinetic, intricate, mixed-media or metal sculpture, AI or video multimedia art, drawing, painting, art book, socially engaged art, public
art, and more. Her work is often inspired by her life experience and observation in Japan and as an immigrant in NYC, exploring the idea of our beliefs and lives, which she had questioned growing up in a
particular yet ordinary environment.
She has exhibited internationally and mainly in New York: recently at SPRING/BREAK Art Show, Japan Society, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, The City College of New York, LaGuardia Airport, NY, Seoul World
Art Expo, Korea, Kameyama Art Triennial, Japan, Oeno Gallery, Canada, and Venice Biennale, Italy.
Press Contact: Kourosh Mahboubian
23 Monroe St., New York, NY 10002