Mizuho Matsunaga (b. 1976 DE/JP)
Rauma Art Museum 15th Jan – 17th April 2011
Looking for Sampo -workshop for children ages 7-11
Matsunaga arrived to Rauma again in January. She participated Rauma Art Museumexhibition In The Middle of Nowhere, a contemporary art exhibition for children and young people, where she made and installation Infinity and lead Looking for Sampo workshops for 7-11 year old children.
The theme of In Middle of Nowhere exhibition was very serious; shaded with dark tones. The works were eching feelings of emptiness, vanity, silence, deserts and space. Visitors could go deep into the heart of the forests, listen very silent to voices and see low motions in landscape. You could get lost in black space and visit in funeral room with photographs of dead people.
Mizuho Matsunaga wrote about her installation Infinity in an exhibition brochure like this:
"When I am snorkelling in the sea, walking in forests covered with pure white snow, kayaking in the archipelago of Rauma, seeing Japanese Zen gardens or standing in baroque churches, somehow I feel that my consciousness and body is going to melt into these spaces. Then suddenly comes a moment when I completely melt out and disappear. It is a similar feeling as whipped cream on your tongue slowly melting in your mouth. I call it “the moment of existence-loss” and I’m interested in that moment.
Sweet Landscape, one of my summer projects in Raumars A-i-R, was based on my experience, when I went kayaking in the archipelago of Rauma. The archipelago landscape floating in the Baltic Sea reminded me of the paradise. Then I made an installation in which we (?) were walking and floating in the landscape of Rauma.
Infinity, my installation in the exhibition, expresses a space or a channel, which connects us to our own eternal inner space. The patterns in the installation are based on baroque ornaments. I hope you feel like standing somewhere in the deep, deep ocean or in the far away universe when you see my installation.
It was just “middle of nowhere” for me, when I came back to Rauma in winter. I had to ask myself whether this is really Rauma or not?! The landscape of Rauma was completely changed. The boats occupied colourfully in the harbour have been landed, the rivers and sea become the earth, because they have been frozen and piled up by snow. They are hibernating, dressed with white snow!"
Looking for Sampo
Kalevala tells us about a magical artefact of indeterminate type, constructed by a smith called Ilmarinen, that brought good fortune to its holder. According to the story Sampo was smashed and lost at sea. What and where is Sampo? Everyone can have a Sampo of their own, which gives many miracles not only to you but also to other people.
Matsunaga filmed a video in Rauma, where she was contemplating what Sampo might be. She also asked people to tell her what Sampo is and what does it mean for example for a writer and a painter, whom she interviewed. Children watched Matsunaga’s video in the workshops and everyone made their own Sampo using laced cake papers, crayons and fluorescent colours. The pieces of work were laminated and they were placed in art museum’s yard house, where they were slowly swinging and glowed with magical light.