Becoming Feral

AOMORI GOKAN Arts Fest will take place from April 13 to September 1, 2024, at five contemporary art institutions in the prefecture: Aomori Contemporary Art Centre, Aomori Museum of Art, Hachinohe Art Museum, Hirosaki Museum of Contemporary Art, and Towada Art Center. A new kind of art festival envisioned as “interweavers in open fields,” AOMORI GOKAN features a wide-ranging program of events that harness the unique characteristics of each participating venue.
Towada Art Center will hold Becoming Feral, an exhibition that interprets the festival theme of an open field as exchange between nature and humankind, and examines those complex interrelations.

With global concern over the climate crisis at an all-time high, human society faces an urgent need to rethink its attitude toward nature. But given that what we know today as “human” is a concept of our species as something external to nature, and which has almost always exploited, controlled, and managed nature, is it truly capable of “saving the planet”? This exhibition re-examines the “human” as a rational, autonomous entity that is a product of modernity, and focuses on the ideas and things that were excluded over the course of that process. It enables encounters with stories and determined ways of living that are neither tame nor wild, but feral, blurring the various binaries that have defined our thinking.
The exhibition showcases the practices of artists who understand nature in different ways: Umico Niwa, a transgender woman with Japanese and American roots who expresses her approach to life through her sculpture; Yoko Daihara, who left school education at around the age of ten and whose artistic landscapes are filtered through a refined, self-taught sensibility; Nagata Kosuke, whose moving image and food-related works reflect on the intersection of flora and fauna, and on human control of nature through selective breeding and farming; and Anais-karenin, whose work re-questions the relationship between humans and plants, based on knowledge passed down in Brazil since before the colonial era. With a focus on new work by these young artists, the exhibition features a diverse selection of contemporary art across various forms and mediums, from sculpture to moving image, wall tapestry, sound, installation, and food.

Graphic Design: Kno Daisuke