Naoki Koide uses deformed sculptures to express himself and the people he associates with. Using a file on fiber reinforced plastic (FRP), he forms pastel shapes that extend in all directions. At first glance, they resemble figures that may be encountered at amusement parks or outside franchise restaurants, bakeries, and drug stores in Japan, however, the hidden smiles and fathomless expressions go beyond the world as we know it to create a character that is far removed from the realm of the normal and everyday.
Koide’s works harbor a hint of friendliness that lurks somewhere within the eerie forms, which are occasionally depicted as a small hippopotamus, salamander, frog, or cat. “Marriage,” Koide’s previous exhibition at Tomio Koyama Gallery featured figures that were dressed as a bride and groom; to commemorate their union, a traditional wedding portrait of the couple at the wedding chapel was taken.
Koide’s atelier, and even the roof, is filled with statues that stand like mysterious guardian statues, which are typically found at shrines. The interpretation of human turned cumulonimbus cloud reflects Koide’s views and mixing of imagination and reality to expose an unfathomable world.
<About this Exhibition>
“In These Days” is the follow up to “marriage.” Picnic with Undead, the main feature, measures nearly three meters tall. Resembling a cloud castle, it displays a place that is neither in the world of the living nor the dead where one can meet family from the world of the living and from the world of the dead. Inside the smiling cloud’s body is an everyday scene that could be occupied by playing children. The exhibition is scheduled to include Picnic with Undead, the couple after “marriage” and the cloud figure as well as photographs of works.