French contemporary artist, Jean-Michel Othoniel, has his new solo exhibition “DreamRoad” at PERROTIN Tokyo, in Roppongi. The event runs from September 16 to October 24.
Since the launch of Le Kiosque des Noctambules at the entrance to the Palay Royale-Muse du Louvre train station in Paris in 2000, Othoniel has been recognized as one of France’s leading artists. The three-month retrospective exhibition held at the Pompidou Center in 2011 attracted a record 200,000 visitors. In Japan, he has displayed sculptures such as Kin no Kokoro in Roppongi Hills Mori Garden, and others in the open-air area on the third floor of the Chanel Ginza store. A recent collaboration with the fragrance brand Diptic is a hot topic.
Othoniel continues to quietly explore nature, and his new installation, Kiku, is inspired by the symbolism of chrysanthemum in classical Japanese culture. The exhibition expresses the closed off forbidden chrysanthemums garden named “Yumeji (Dream Road).” The term Yumeji appears in the collections of Japanese poetry, “Kokinshu” and “Gosenshu,” which were compiled in the 900’s, and implies “dreaming” and “dreaming with loved ones.”
This solo exhibition is his first gallery exhibition in Japan, and the new series of sculptures represent chrysanthemum crystallized with glass and beads, which have been used in art since the late 1990s. Paintings on large canvases depict abstract images with black ink on a layer of platinum foil, playing with the sense of light and dark. This shows his love for drawing, which has been at the core of his work since the start of his career as an artist. The elegant sculptures set on pedestal in the mains space hark back to the overwhelming exhibits at the Bunkyo Chrysanthemum Festival, which Othoniel visited many times. There are three paintings painted on gold leaf on display in an adjoining room.