From May 20, 2017, the public of Tokyo will be able to see, for the first time, the works with strong influence of the modernist architecture and Brazilian fauna and flora of the Brazilian artist Bia Monteiro. Modern Lines, the first individual exhibition in Japan of the Brazilian based in New York, brings 17 works that explore the dialogue and tensions between architecture and its impact on the natural landscape.
In four photographs, the artist proposes a reflection on how Modernism, which began in the 1930s, influenced by Le Corbusier, became a national utopia with the construction of the city of Brasilia. The capital was considered in the 1960s as a national socioeconomic model on which the modernist dream of Lúcio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer was deposited, with the endorsement of President Juscelino Kubitschek, and became known as the capital of hope in that decade.
The buildings of Brasília are abstracted and transposed in the works by means of geometric forms (extracted of photographs of that city) contrasting images of forest reserves. Another group of 12 works (including Noivinha, Jandaia Amarelo and Jussara) gathers images of endangered bird species and plants that are "caged" in concrete blocks - a clear allusion to the material widely used by this architectural strand. It creates an ambiguous dialogue between human development, permanence and nature.
It stands out from the whole the black and white Oca photograph, which brings this typical indigenous rudimentary construction composed of wood and vegetal fibers. Its organic presence in the exhibition faces with subtlety the harsh Modernist lines. The delicate encounter retakes the first reflections of the poet, literary critic and Brazilian essayist Mario de Andrade (São Paulo, 1893-1945) on the disordered formation of the Brazilian identity. Bia Monteiro seems to nourish the same ambiguous feeling as the poet: in the search for national identity, now she turns to an ancestral and romantic investigation, and now to the new winds of progress.