Cosmo-Eggs (Official catalogue of the Japanese Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition)
Motoyuki SHITAMICHI, Taro YASUNO, Toshiaki ISHIKURA, Fuminori NOUSAKU, Hiroyuki HATTORI
Publisher: Case Publishing
The official catalogue for the “Cosmo-Eggs” exhibition at Japanese Pavilion on occasion of the 58th Venice Biennale Art Exhibition. Designed by Yoshihisa Tanaka (Tokyo Art Book Fair, Takeo Paper Show), the book provides an overview of the exhibition itself and – with many notes, commentary, explanatory texts and essays – allows for an in-depth understanding of the thoughts and ideas put forward by each of the participating four artists and their curator. The book “Cosmo-Eggs” is a culmination of hand-in-hand efforts by artists, curator, art directors, designer, publisher, printer and book binder (thereby exemplifying the fundamental theme of “collaboration” at the center of the project) which aims to expand the possibilities and significance of the book as a medium beyond its limits.
“Cosmo-Eggs” takes its title from a concept commonly found in world creation myths, in which humankind and the world are born from a “cosmic egg,” and suggests the possibility of a co-existence between human and nonhuman people with multiple diverging mythologies and histories. Cooperation is another vital element of the exhibition, which forms a collective effort to explore new meanings and new possible forms of co-existence between diverse beings. Further, the exhibition examines the potential of unknown ideas and experiments that are created through artists’ mutual inspirations (during opportunities such as group exhibitions or artist-in-residence programs).
The book collects the writings and visual notes by all four participants as well as curator Hiroyuki Hattori (associate Professor at the Akita University of Art): artist Motoyuki Shitamichi, who has participated in numerous group exhibitions such as the 2012 Gwangju Biennale or the 2013 Asian Art Biennale in Taiwan; the composer Taro Yasuno, known for his “Musicinema” (spoken word performances based on simultaneously exhibited videos) and “Zombie Music,” in which instruments are played without human involvement; the anthropologist Toshiaki Ishikura, who focuses his research on mythologies told on islands in Taiwan, Japan, Korea and Oceania; and the architect Fuminori Nousaku, who gained public recognition due to his involvement in the 2016 Venice Biennale Architecture Exhibition.