Hiroko Kubo’s first large-scale solo exhibition “Steel Goddess” will be held from April 26th (Friday)

Pola Museum Annex (Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo) will hold Hiroko Kubo's exhibition "Steel Goddess" from Friday, April 26, 2024 to Sunday, June 9, 2024.

“Steel framed Goddess” 2024 180×172×74 cm Steel, windproof net

Statues and pottery made from familiar materials such as blue sheets, iron, and concrete found at construction sites. Hiroko Kubo presents sculptural works based on the themes of agriculture and idols, transposing forms of prayer that were common in daily life in ancient times into modern times. In recent years, he has been attracting attention by presenting dynamic installation works that respond to the local area at events such as the Setouchi Triennale 2016 and the Saitama Triennale 2020. The works created are inspired by prehistoric art and the theories of cultural anthropology, and are imbued with positive raw energy, with motifs of the emotional support of people who continue to live their lives while enduring the harshness of nature. It seems to respond to the “spiritual need'' of those of us who are searching for a place where our hearts can rest, as we often find ourselves at crossroads in thinking about “life'' such as natural disasters.

This exhibition will feature approximately 60 works, including his new work “Steel Goddess,'' which uses windproof netting. In addition to introducing a number of three-dimensional works such as amulets made of concrete and earthenware made of blue sheets, two-dimensional works are also planned to be displayed in the window on the first floor of the Pola Ginza Building during the exhibition period.

∥Exhibition overview∥
Exhibition name: Hiroko Kubo Exhibition “Steel Goddess”
Period: April 26, 2024 (Friday) – June 9, 2024 (Sunday) *Open every day during the exhibition period Opening hours: 11:00 – 19:00 (Admission until 18:30)
Admission fee: Free Venue: Pola Museum Annex (3rd floor, Pola Ginza Building, 1-7-7 Ginza, Chuo-ku, 104-0061)
Access: Right next to Tokyo Metro Ginza-itchome Station Exit 7 / 6 minutes walk from Tokyo Metro Ginza Station Exit A9 Organizer: POLA ORBIS Holdings Co., Ltd.
U R L: https://www.po-holdings.co.jp/m-annex/

∥Artist's statement∥

steel goddess

On New Year's Day in 2024, a large earthquake struck the Noto Peninsula. Every time we witness a natural disaster, we become keenly aware of what we have built and our own vulnerability. Technology such as skyscrapers, subways, and artificial satellites, like prehistoric pottery, stone statues, and cave paintings, are proof of the lives of humans, who lived their lives by fighting, adapting, and praying against the harsh elements of nature.

Through his theory of folk art, Soetsu Yanagi preached that beauty resides in practical items created by the people. In other words, it is the beauty of use. In opposition to this, he says, are works of art that are created for the sake of “beauty'' and not for “use,'' and industrial items that are created for “profit.''

Religious art and folk art are also folk arts that were born from the spiritual needs of humans, so-called “things for the soul.''

The reason I use these as models as a writer is because they are the embodiment of rich mythological thinking that is immeasurable to modern rationality, and I feel that humans still need this kind of thinking.

Nowadays, we are losing myths and folk crafts. Is it possible to find a Goddess in streamlined industrial products?

Following the example of ancient people who created tools and idols from materials around them, I create works using things that are around us today, such as blue sheets, work gloves, and wire mesh. Believing that they will become fragments of a new myth and the body of a goddess statue.

Hiroko Kubo

“Mud Foot” 2015-16 360×620×790cm Iron, windproof net

∥Author profile∥
Hiroko Kubo
Born in Hiroshima Prefecture in 1987. Completed master's degree in fine arts at Texas Christian University. Based on research on prehistoric art, folk art, and theories of cultural anthropology, he creates sculptures using materials around him. Major exhibitions in recent years include "GO FOR KOGEI: Material Imagination and the Origin of Stories – Materials, Data, Fantasy" (2023, Kansui Park, Toyama Prefecture) and "Romantai Sanshin Art Season" (2023, Taiwan). be. Received the Hiroshima Cultural Newcomer Award (2022) and the Rokko Meets Art Public Competition Grand Prize (2017). Large-scale works are in the collections of KAMU KANAZAWA (Ishikawa), Osaka Creation Chishima Foundation (Osaka), IZAK Co., Ltd. (Toyama), etc.

“Street Amulet – Hand” 2022 60×70mm Cement, brass

[POLA Museum Annex] From press release

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