Artist bio

Mantle Plume -The Anger of Izanami and Pele
September 7 - October 6, 2019
Opening reception: Saturday, September 7, 6-8pm


SHIHO KAGABU Hina's way 2019 ink-jet print

We are pleased to announce our next exhibition by a sculptor Shiho Kagabu, “Mantle Plume – The Anger of Izanami and Pele,” starting September 7 (Sat.), 2019. After having stayed and worked two years in Milano, Italy aided by the Program of Overseas Study for Upcoming Artists of the Agency for Cultural Affairs, this solo exhibition will be the first in four years in our gallery. Please do not miss this opportunity.

Shiho Kagabu has created sculpture by utilizing various things such as everyday items which lost their usefulness, found objects which are broken and discarded, and building materials available at home improvement store.
In her artwork, Kagabu dismantles common meanings and functions of these diverse things, creates a new relationship through combination, and places it in a space. Kagabu says that either these constituents, as well as herself, are existent in the world according to the law governing the globe, and, in that sense, they are interrelated with each other. This remark shows that the artist recognizes every single thing as an independent entity. Kagabu also says that “I doubt the rules defined by humans, but I believe in the rules that are on a global, or even universal scale.” By harmoniously approaching and carefully hearing the voice of things, the artist attempts to set up in an exhibition space the state of creation and circulation that reflects the natural law.

Our ancestors tried to think and understand mysterious wonders of the nature and unexplainable phenomena through their narratives such as myths and folklores. The exhibition title “Mantle Plume – The Anger of Izanami and Pele” derives from the fact that volcanic activity of fluidized mantle from the earth’s crust spurts to the surface is likened to a female who incinerates people with the flame of jealousy and anger – Japanese Izanami and Hawaiian Pele, both of which are the goddess of the volcano in their myths. As the title suggests, this exhibition is approached from the dual aspects: the physical phenomenon of the natural world and narrativity of human being.

Volcanic activity is the spurt of hidden energy deep beneath the earth (mantle plume) toward its surface. The normally invisible enormous energy becomes visible as an earthquake in one instance and as magma at other times. By these means, the earth itself is transformed on a grand scale. Kagabu’s sculpture creation process – rediscovering the value of non-functional things whose meaning is dismantled and restructuring their new relationship in accordance with natural law – can be likened to the process of the mantle plume inside the earth spurts against the gravity, in the form of beautiful columns. Therefore, it can be said that both of them are inevitable processes controlled by “the rules that are on a global, indeed, universal scale.” Kagabu describes sculpture as “the medium that can freely move through time and space.” Shiho Kagabu shapes her sculpture by sculpting time and space just like the mantle plume, the earth’s contained energy from time immemorial, spurts to the surface following a timeless process.

Shiho Kagabu was born in 1981 in Kanagawa, Japan. Kagabu received Japanese Government Oversea Research Program Grant, Agency for Cultural Affairs and lived and worked in Milan, Italy from 2017 to 2018. Currently, lives and works in Tokyo.
Recently, Kagabu presented her work in "Tokorozawa Biennial of Contemporary Art "railroad siding 2015" in Saitama, "KAKEHASHI Project" at Japan Society, New York, 2014, "Artist File 2013:The NACT Annual Show of Contemporary Art” at The National Art Center, Tokyo, "TAMAgawa tatta hi” at JIKKA and NADiff window gallery, Tokyo, 2013, "Signals//Itabashi//2011 Live the landscape" at Itabashi ArtMuseum, Tokyo, "VOCA2010" at The Ueno Royal Museum, Tokyo, "Open Studio Program No.51" at Fuchu Art Museum, Tokyo, "back to the drawing board" at geh8 Kunstraum und Ateliers e.V., Dresden, Germany.