Japan House Los Angeles presents its summer exhibition “Reconnecting: A Vision of Unity by Kengo Kito” running through Sept. 6.
Faced with unprecedented challenges during the past year, people have been yearning to reconnect with families, friends and communities. In his first U.S. exhibition, Japanese artist Kito, who is known for repurposing everyday objects into conceptual art installations, used hula hoops to create a unified structure, symbolizing the interconnectedness of humanity. From Japan, Kito will remotely direct the creation of the hula hoop installation at Japan House Los Angeles and a second satellite installation on display through July 4 at the Westfield Century City.
Lauded as one of Japan’s most innovative contemporary artists, Kito reimagines everyday objects and connects modern materials with ideas rooted in traditional Japanese philosophy, culture and art. Hula hoops allow Kito to explore the close relationship between the circle, lines and space. When a hula hoop is formed, a line becomes a circle, and when a hoop is reopened, the circle becomes a line. By connecting hoops end-to-end, long lines become new, larger circles that spatially intersect – a colorful, uplifting metaphor for people’s interconnectedness.
A total of 2,021 hoops will be used for the main gallery exhibition at Japan House Los Angeles, celebrating the unity of shared experiences and reconnecting this year.
“Hula hoops have always been interesting materials for me to work with, as they are universal objects used around the world by both children and adults,” Kito said. “They are not only circles but also lines, and it’s possible to keep connecting them infinitely.”
The Japan House Los Angeles exhibition will consist of two sections. The front sub-gallery features smaller hula hoop installations, background materials and videos introducing Kito’s work and its connection to traditional Japanese art and philosophical concepts. The main gallery will be an immersive experience allowing visitors to walk through a space transformed by Kito’s colorful hula hoop structure. The Westfield Century City installation, located on the dining terrace, will offer a similar experience outdoors for a limited time.
“’Reconnecting’ is both of the current moment [and] rooted in traditional Japanese culture,” said Yuko Kaifu, president, Japan House Los Angeles. “In Zen Buddhist philosophy and art, the circle, line and space have long been used to question and explore reality and our place in it. As many parts of the world begin to open up again and people search for ways to reengage with the community and reconnect with people, we hope that the exhibition’s playfulness and messages of connection will lift the spirits of all our visitors.”
The exhibition will also include related programs. Japan House Los Angeles is located at 6801 Hollywood Blvd. The gallery is open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., with the last reservation block at 5:30 p.m. Free exhibition tickets can be reserved through Japan House’s online reservation system and walk-ins will be allowed is space permits.
For information, visit japanhousela.com.
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