Nawa Kohei has been developing a new type of sculpture based on his unique way of perceiving the world through cells, using various materials such as glass and liquid as well as technology like 3D scanning.
Nawa’s signature PixCell series comprises sculptures in which transparent spheres cover the surface of stuffed animals, musical instruments, and other objects collected on internet. The term “PixCell” is a blend of the words “pixel” and “cell.”
The objects that we see on the Internet are perceived through the pixels of the screens in our computers and mobile devices and are united by a singular flat texture. Nawa’s cell-covered works are magnified and distorted by the lens-like effect of their surfaces. The cells create a kind of moving image effect as the viewer moves throughout the space and changes their vantage point. The objects themselves can then only be seen through the cells and can no longer be the subject of physical reality through visual and tactile perception.
Nawa’s work mirrors, through sculpture, our contemporary global information society, where emphasis on efficiency and convenience has led to the elimination of physical sensation. It also echoes, in a peculiar way, the current state of the world and the COVID-19 pandemic as, now more than ever, we engage with the world through virtual connectivity.
Photo: Oyamada Kuniya