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2022. 08 En / 円

Solo Exhibition at Joan Derryberry Art Gallery at Tennessee Tech University

Manami Ishimura

En /円

Joan Derryberry Art Gallery at Tennessee Tech University


My artwork depicts the ephemeral beauty of moments which generally go unseen. When I practiced meditation at a temple in Lamphun, Thailand, my conscious mind left my physical element. In that moment, only breathing connected my body and my consciousness.

My experience living in other countries has made me more aware of this kind of moment, and of the liminal states that exist between consciousness and body, between myself and others, and between inanimate elements and living organisms. All of this reflects the ephemeral life of beauty, as in that quiet but profound moment of breathing at the temple.

This installation entitled “En-円” consists of branches within acrylic boxes and is inspired by the Japanese flower arrangement, Ikebana and its aesthetics. Ikebana is originally from a ritual of the Japanese religion to dedicate plants to the gods. Monks picked seasonal plants, trimming them off and arranging in a vase carefully to emphasize the beauty of their form. They tried to invoke the mystic power of life in a vase as if they were trying to embrace both emptiness and substance of life. I collect natural materials, trim, and make composition choices considering the sense of spacing in ikebana called “間-ma”. This installation searches for the boundary between naturalness and artificiality, embracing and delineating the struggle of the division between the two.


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