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TRAN-SCRIBE / 転記 represents a continuation of the SCRIBE project, developed by Yuki Murata in the two-year period 2020-2021 and exhibited in a series of solo exhibitions at the Nishida Museum of Fine Arts (IN-SCRIBE, 2020), Toyama Glass Art Museum (DE-SCRIBE , 2020) and Gallery Muryow (A-SCRIBE, 2020 and CIRCUM-SCRIBE, 2021).

The term "transcribe" [from Lat. transcriběre] indicates the act of carefully and diligently copying a text, but also that of rewriting it using a different graphic or alphabetic system from the original. Both definitions conform to the first nucleus of works on display in the "TRANSLATION" series which, together with those in the "TEXT BOX" series, form the fulcrum of the exhibition at LuogoArteContemporanea.

"TRANSLATION" is based on the motif of the sacred scriptures, whose texts are written on the wood using computer characters that are unreadable due to their incorrect display by a software that does not recognize their coding (mojibake, 文字化け). The artist analyzes the mechanisms of transmission of knowledge between different linguistic codes, both human and digital, focusing attention on the alterations that occur from the passage between one and the other, and transferring this process to the contemporary context of writing information using numerical languages. This phenomenon takes the form of an extension of the act of translation, whereby the written word gradually becomes indistinct, losing its meaning and becoming a pure signifier. The sculpted brushstrokes in the "PAINT" series can be interpreted as a further phase of the disin- tegration of the word, reduced to a pictorial gesture that recalls the elegance and sinuosity of oriental calligraphy. In the same way, the exhibition acts as a continuation of this process of dissolution of the word as a semantic element, inserted here in a foreign - Western - environment where its understanding is very limited.

The open books show some passages from the Interfaith Bible in Japanese (Introduction 1, Old Testament 2-3 and New Testament 4), the content of which is the result of a double transcription - the first as an adaptation to a more accessible reading register, the second as a translation - from which errors arise due to a mediation between different writing systems, moving the text away from the original copy. Similarly, the Tetsugen version of the Lotus Sutra has variations and omissions that occurred during the transposition from the Sanskrit original into Chinese, and continued in Japan by means of typographical errors that occurred during the production of the woodblocks for printing. The matrix and the impression on paper are displayed in the center of the room.

Murata places sculpture and writing in dialogue in the current circumstance of dissemination and use of information, subject to a progressive digitization and dematerialization of the physical support which, no longer essential, takes on a new meaning. In the "TEXT BOX" series, the text (Kusamakura, the filler corresponding to our Lorem ipsum used in Adobe Illustrator CC to emphasize the design components over the content) has undergone a formatting which compromised its intelligibility so as to be perceived only as a visual element rather than a semantic one, reinforcing its presence as a sculpture.

The inscription in the text boxes is extended to the walls of the second room through a site-specific intervention aimed at increasing the perception of impenetrability generated by the intricate layout of the characters, but also at paying homage to the author of the complete text, Soseki Natsume (Tokyo 1867-1916), one of the greatest writers of the Meiji era. The first chapter of his "草枕" a.k.a "Kusamakura" - digitally printed on printer paper specifically for this installation - concerns the reflection of the main character, a painter, on the contrast between Western and Eastern art. The criticism towards the growing modernization of Japan on the impetus of the strong influence of the West is also revealed in the "Heads of Gigeiten" - Buddhist divinity patron of the arts - inspired by the prototypes of the work "伎芸天首試作" by the artist Kyuichi Takeuchi (Tokyo 1857-1916), which was exhibited at the 1893 WorLd's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, where, however, it was not considered in accordance with the values of Western art and relegated to the artisanal category of wood carving. In the reworking of the model, Murata expresses this cultural gap by representing busts without a face, indicating the loss of subjectivity in a society that from the second half of the 19th century underwent changes in the process of rapid westerniza- tion.

In deviating from this trend, Murata dignifies the wood material and the ancient carving technique with an eye to the past, present and future, creating sculptures that combine executive ability and contemporary creativity in a fluid dialogue between tradition and current events.

~ Lisangela Perigozzo, 2023


Yuki Murata's solo exhibition

Critical text by Lisangela Perigozzo

27.05 - 24.06.2023


Saturday 27 May, 5 pm

live performance 6 pm

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