Tsunami

Miwa Kojima and Takuro Mikame

31 October 2001 to 5 January 2002

198 Contemporary Arts and Learning

An exhibition curated by Fernando Palma Rodriguez. 

The impact of the tidal wave of globalisation on contemporary art and its appreciation has meant the inevitable transformation of both the practice of art and a review of the role of the artist. Technology has pervaded our way of life. On the one hand technological development has not fully evolved into what was once expected of it, the betterment of people, and on the other hand the current tendency towards globalisation has further blurred the innate differences of local culture. As a result cultural differences must now merge into one world-wide duty, to preserve the value of well-being, both environmental and otherwise. Environment does not simply mean the earth and nature to the exclusion of people but includes the everyday lives of humankind and the changes that people experience as a result of technological innovation.

The argument that cultural studies and artistic practice can, by themselves, change this existing condition is short-sighted and unrealistic, but unlike other forms of artistic expression contemporary art practice demands that the artist physically move about in the world engaging with host cultures and by default, become an ambassador of different values, prejudices and dilemmas. This role also demands introspection from the artist who while away from the safer matrix of home values must engage in a process of reassessing and transfixing those values. As a result the artist's role must now become a catalyst for our long overdue environmental concern given that they have a greater global focus through their experience of adaptation and cultural expression.

It is within this context that Tsunami brought together two artists, Miwa Kojima and Takuro Mikame, who are not exploring the environmental issue per se, either thematically or formally, but who share a common denominator in that they now live in two countries, Japan and the UK. This experience is not dissimilar to many whom, as expatriates, undergo the dislocated cultural condition which exists in the present way of life in many major capital cities.

Tsunami explored the parallel of a changing attitude to art and its practice, the blurring of medium, subject matter, artist and activity and showed work which ranged from the tradition of painting to the experimental in multimedia. 

Fernando Palma Rodriguez