Reception: Sunday, January 14 from 1pm to 3pm
Give Me Sun, Water, Soil, and Seed With a Little Bit of Hope is a whimsical ceramic sculpture installation by Akemi Maegawa. In this exhibition Maegawa creates an imaginary world of our urban life where flower pots and plates have legs and they try to save the nature by themselves. Viewers will enjoy reading their conversation and imagine what we could do to help them and help us.
Akemi Maegawa explains, “In the last several years, I witnessed so many healthy trees were cut down from the streets and residential area as a result of expansion of city development and building more and more larger houses. Whenever I see a tree stamp, I feel so sorry for the tree being killed because of human needs or inconvenience. I could not do anything to protect those trees except protecting trees of my own. I wondered if the trees could talk, what do we do? If we could hear the voice of unspoken, will we change our lifestyle? I thought about placing my sad Daruma sculpture on the stump so that the tree gets some comfort by sharing the sadness. I wanted to listen to the voices of unspoken. That’s how I started to develop an idea and build this series of imaginary sculptures of functional objects that are trying to save nature. If we can feel the pain of others not just the nature, I think we can be nicer to each other.”
Akemi Maegawa work is recognized by her stylized signature-ceramic sculptures of a round, Japanese traditional doll named Daruma after Bodhidharma (in Japan known as Daruma-Taishi) – the founder of the Zen sect of Buddhism. Akemi has explained that this traditionally design doll made of a papier-mâché, harvested only during the winter in Japan is rich in symbolism. The legend describes Daruma-monk who in his 9-year-long pursue of enlightment become a leg- and armless round face and torso with crane-shaped eyebrows and turtle-like mustache, symbols of longevity, with the empty eye sockets. The Daruma initially empty Eyes, the “oversized symmetrical round eyes” are symbol of keeping track upon a goal when the first pupil is “given” and fulfilling it when the second eye is painted. In this way, every time one sees the one-eyed Daruma, he/she is remained about the goal and “Both Eyes Open” referres to “opening” the second eye expressing the realization of a goal. Thus, Daruma images symbolize perseverance, longevity and good luck, making them a popular gift of encouragement.
Akemi’s Daruma images, which is often present in Maegawa’s work, illustrate her minimalistic style emerged from a traditional Japanese Buddhist roots offering the viewer a tranquility of altruistic dedication of meditation for setting of goals in the chaos of the contemporary world.
Akemi Maegawa is a Washington, DC based artist. She works with ceramics and mixed media and her work often responds to unique perception of western civilization because of her background strongly rooted in Japanese culture and history. Her works quite often look deceptively simple and ironically ordinary. However, she focuses on the beauty or drama through exploring those mundane objects to search and define a meaning of life. Her sculptures and installations have been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions including Arts Program Gallery at UMUC, MD; Academy Art Museum, Easton, MD; ASU Art Museum, Temple, AZ, USC Pacific Asia Musum, Pasadena, CA. She is an adjunct professor at Corcoran School of Art and Design teaching ceramic sculpture. She graduated from the Corcoran Collage of Art and Design for BFA and Cranbrook Academy of Art for MFA.
Barbara Januszkiewicz is the Metro Micro Gallery ’s founder and sponsor. This is part of the outreach of her studio practice that includes mentorships within the creative community. Guest curators are invited to help with this effort in supporting public awareness for visual art practitioners. Pay it forward.
Metro Micro Gallery is committed in creating opportunities that will inspire more creative collaborations and enrich our community. An experimental gallery that encourages creative collaborations and a respect for diversity through inclusive, non-conventional exhibits and showcases. A small space with big mission, the Metro Micro Gallery offers exhibits and programs to strengthen and sustain our community.
This Program is supported in part by Arlington County through the Arlington Cultural Affairs Division of Arlington Economic Development and the Arlington Commission for the Arts.
Metro Micro Gallery is located at 3409 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA. For more information, visit www.metromicrogallery.com.