Exhibition

The Myth of Survival

10 Sep 2021 – 26 Nov 2021

Regular hours

Monday
10:00 – 17:00
Tuesday
10:00 – 17:00
Wednesday
10:00 – 17:00
Thursday
10:00 – 17:00
Friday
10:00 – 17:00
Saturday
Closed
Sunday
Closed

Free admission

The Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation

London, United Kingdom

Address

Travel Information

  • Buses: 2, 13, 18, 27, 30, 74, 82, 113, 139, 189 and 274
  • Tube: Baker St.

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In this show, Rui Matsunaga presents another myth for survival: animism. It narrativizes the spirituality possessed by every creature in the world. The small creatures in her works become metaphors of nature and humans, demonstrating our intricate relationships.

About

The exhibition title points to the links between ‘myths’ and ‘survival’. Survival itself is something of a myth, as we live in a world in which famine, plague and war have not been solved. Meanwhile, we need myths for survival. The ‘human story’ described by Yuval Harari binds humans together by building our social identity as the strongest species on the planet.

In this show, Rui Matsunaga presents another myth for survival: animism. It narrativizes the spirituality possessed by every creature in the world. Humans are not placed at the centre. The framework functions like ecosystem not only to connect people together, but also to connect them with the land or with abstract ideas such as another world.

The small creatures in her works become metaphors of nature and humans, demonstrating our intricate relationships. This delineation references a mythological way of thinking: human and other beings are not so different, constantly communicating and even interchangeable. Inspired by the 12th century Japanese scroll paintings Chōjū-jinbutsu-giga, or Frolicking Animals and People, the paintings visualise the animism of an ambiguous storytelling.

The series of etchings is reminiscent of Albrecht Dürer’s woodcuts, The Revelation of St. John (Apocalypse). He described God and His angels as a transcendent hierarchy in which things are valued within dichotomies, such as that between light and shadow, or good and bad. There might be scope for reconsidering how the apocalypse would be depicted today, with more ambiguous images.

We have shared various existential questions regarding the climate crisis, nuclear threats, gene technology and AI. This show ponders the spirituality of interconnectedness and the prospective future of humanity.

OPENING TIMES

Monday to Friday, 10:00-17:00

HOW TO VISIT THE EXHIBITION

If you would like to visit the exhibition in September, please email us at office@dajf.org.uk at least two working days in advance and provide us with the following information:

  • Preferred date and time of your visit
  • Number of guests and their full names
  • Emergency contact number of the person in charge of the booking
  • Name of organisation (if any)

We will try our best to accommodate your preference based on availability and will contact you with a confirmation of your booking.

 If you would like to visit the exhibition from October, you do not need a booking. Guests are welcome to visit the gallery anytime between 10:00 and 17:00.

 Please make sure you read the COVID-secure guidance sheet before your visit.

What to expect? Toggle

Exhibiting artists

Rui Matsunaga

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