City Glow: Chiho Aoshima Animation in Collaboration with Bruce Ferguson
EXHIBITION | Tuesday, August 20 – Saturday, December 14
“The evolution of human civilization is great; humankind thinks nature is precious, but it is difficult for humankind and nature to coexist. I represented these two souls that cannot understand each other through the images of buildings and mountains.” The museum is pleased to present Chiho Aoshima’s City Glow made possible through a prestigious loan from the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. In 2005, Aoshima collaborated with the New Zealand-based animator Bruce Ferguson to create City Glow, her first animation. This five-channel video work is a meditation on humankind’s strained relationship with nature, where forces of good and evil vie for control of the land. Using dreamlike imagery and bright colors of Japanese anime, the seven-minute narrative opens in a paradisiacal garden filled with exotic foliage and creatures. Gradually, a modern city of anthropomorphic skyscrapers grows from this tranquil and lush wilderness. As night falls, the city becomes a haunted wasteland; finally, demonic ghosts are banished by winged spirits, and nature flowers once again. Born in 1974 in Tokyo, Japan, Aoshima studied economics at Hosei University in Tokyo before dedicating herself to making art. Though not formally trained, Aoshima’s drawings and videos show the influence of Japanese popular culture including traditional scroll painting and Ukiyo-e printing as well as contemporary Manga comics and animated media. She has also been associated with Superflat, an art movement founded by artist Takashi Murakami which explores consumerism in post-war Japanese culture. Her 2015 exhibition, Chiho Aoshima: Rebirth of the World at the Seattle Art Museum, featured the video work City Glow. Aoshima has had additional solo exhibitions at Blum & Poe, Los Angeles in 2002; the Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Paris in 2007; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston in 2007; the Foundation Joan Miró, Barcelona, Spain in 2008; and the Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech in 2014. Aoshima lives and works in Tokyo, Japan.