Research; ‘Crystallize’ – Tokujin Yoshioka, at the MOT / Museum for Contemporary Art in Tokyo, Japan

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‘Rose’ 2013

Tokujin Yoshioka is a designer that boasts a long and successful history of design work; working with Swarovski, Toyota, Lexus, and Peugeot, amongst others. Creating Store and boutique designs for these companies, and focusing on the notion of ‘interior space design’. However, he has been renowned for his interests in creating Artworks of a different breed; conceptual in nature, and more befitting of a gallery environment. Yoshioka is concerned with creating artworks that aren’t quite ‘there’, and never moves out of this very strict ‘colour scheme’. When he was younger, he wanted to bring a cloud from the skies above down to earth. His current fascination with natural processes and organic structures go to show that this desire never went away.

This piece; ‘Rose’, showcases a series of synthesised crystals that he has created; eventually ending up resembling a flower. It is a beautiful piece, as crystals hold an inherent sublime beauty; yet, he has crafted these often rare and ancient wonders of the earth, through his own two hands. The thing that i like about these formations, however, is not this sublime beauty; but, the implied motion and movement held within the form. As the crystals ‘spread’ outward, they can be harnessed as a perfect physical representation of ‘influence’, or energy passing out of the form and into the universe surrounding it. This is something that I am interested in within my own work, as i have been exploring the notion of energy passing out of a form into the surrounding universe, as this is an at description of death and eventual immortality; as this energy once again enters the universe and is utilised again within another form.

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‘Tornado’ 2013

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‘Tornado’ 2007 and Swan Lake ‘2013’.

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The ethereal nature of Yoshioka’s work is what is so unique about it. One can see large sheets of ice, the first frost of the year, the fur of a white rabbit, a crystalline formation on a rock…as well as other ephemeral and recurring imagery within nature. The subjective, and inherently precious and fragile nature of his medium is what truly brings it to life; as well as the ‘frozen’ aspect of the crystals. To create crystals synthetically, they are often places within a ‘saturated solution’, which is a liquid bath of chemicals, in which the crystals are grown. Once the crystals are removed from the solution, they will no longer grow, and this then results in them becoming ‘frozen’ within their creation process. As I have been exploring the notion of lost and gained energy and potential within my alchemical circles, which at once were about the ritual that had happened, but were also available to be interacted with, therefore gaining fresh energy and experience through the hands of others. This process of ‘freezing’ the crystals, as well as the notion of leaving them in their ‘bath’ during the exhibition to grow and change, is a very unique one; due to the process and medium of this specific artwork.

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