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Transmutation by Hanae Utamura on view at Frontispace

Frontispace is pleased to announce an exhibition by Hanae Utamura, Transmutation.

Inspiredby microbes that eat radioactive materials and micro-plastics, this exhibition imagines the emergence of life forms from within toxic environments. It highlights the resilience of nature, and how nature transmutes energy from within the ruins of earth and recovers after disasters.

The sun creates energy through a process called nuclear fusion and energizes verdant wilderness that flourishes in the absence of human intervention. Disarmament to Minerals, 2022, imagines the distant future when nuclear disarmament is realized worldwide, by reversing time, and tracing the timeline backward from an imagined impending apocalypse. In Seafloor Core Breath Glass, 2020, the geologic sigh caught in the glass speaks out from the distant past as if it is an ancient Greek oracle.

In the deserted zones at nuclear disaster sites where the natural environment has been exposed to nuclear radiation, plants flourish when human beings flee. Even though the plants encounter toxic radiation, the plants have the strength and energy to adapt and thrive in the deserted zones of the nuclear disasters. Some scientists speculate that this is because of an inbuilt sense of memory in the plants from ancient times, when radiation levels were higher than today.

Hanae Utamura is a Japanese visual artist based in both New York City, and Buffalo, New York. Utamura’s media include video, performance, installation, and sculpture. She connects human beings and earth, using the physical human body as a conduit. Negotiations and conflicts between the human and the non-human, and how all the varieties of the wills of life manifest, have been the central focus of her practice. By decentralizing the human perspective, Utamura diversifies historical narratives, and enters the imagination of nature. She received her Master of Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art and Design, and her Bachelor Fine Art at Goldsmiths, University of London. Utamura has received support through numerous international residencies and fellowships including Akademie Schloss Solitude (Stuttgart, Germany), Künstlerhaus Bethanien (Berlin), PACT Zollverein (Essen, Germany), Art Omi (Hudson, U.S.), Santa Fe Art Institute Residency, Aomori Contemporary Art Center (Japan), National Museum of Contemporary Art, Changdong Art Studio (Seoul, S.Korea), Seoul Art Space_GEUMCHEON (Seoul, S.Korea), Florence Trust (London, U.K.) and more. She has been awarded More Art Engaging Artist Fellowship, NYFA Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program, Shiseido Art Egg Award, Grant program by the Japanese Ministry of Culture, the Pola Art Foundation, UNESCO-Aschberg Bursary Award, and Axis/Florence Trust Award. And has been exhibited extensively in Asia, Europe and U.S. She was a visiting scholar at New York University in 2019, supported by Japanese Ministry of Culture, Japanese government as a part of Japan - United States Exchange Friendship Program in the Art.


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