MASAKO MIKI: New Mythologies

New location: 1401 16th Street, San Francisco
June 16 - September 25, 2021

Make Appointment

Inquire


CULT Aimee Friberg Exhibitions is pleased to announce New Mythologies, a solo exhibition of bronze tabletop sculptures, watercolor paintings and felt sculptures by artist Masako Miki.

New Mythologies is CULT’s inaugural exhibition since officially relocating to Yves Behar’s fuseproject (1401 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103). The exhibition will run from June 16 to September 25, 2021 and marks Miki’s third solo show with CULT Aimee Friberg Exhibitions.

In New Mythologies, Miki continues her exploration of the Shinto concept of the Tsukumogami yōkai—shapeshifters that take the form of commonplace objects and undefinable forms. By engaging with these ancient mythologies, Miki hopes to forge new collective narratives that express contemporary cultural values, echoing dichotomies of human identity and transformation. Miki’s characters embody the contrary characteristics of being both sacred and secular, animate and inanimate and reflect the nuances of nonbinary spaces across gender, biracial identities and her own experience as a Japanese immigrant woman living between two cultures.

For her previous two solo exhibitions with CULT, Miki created the anamorphic yōkai in human scale from brightly-colored felt wool. The artist now contrasts the hand-felted wool medium with bronzes: densely layered in opalescent automobile paints that results in a glassy finish that continuously engages the eye through reflection and shifts in color. The figures—present in the gallery exhibition at table top size—are presented in monumental scale outdoors at the corporate installation. The varying scale of Miki’s yōkai allows viewers multitudinous engagements with the sculptures, aligning with the spiritual figures’ existence as fluid, frictionless forms.

In collaboration with Artworks Foundry in Berkeley, Miki has expanded the boundaries of bronze casting to produce mirror-smooth, seamless surfaces. Further departing from traditional bronze work, Miki has synthesized patina with modern paint to imbue the medium with a new life. Of working with bronze as a medium, Miki states, "Bronze sculptures have a beautiful presence with patina finish that offer curvilinear movement in my work. I have combined both patina and very subtle layers of paint to create flickering optical illusions of colors, which emphasize movement and highlight the shape of form. My sculptures have been shape-shifting in materials from paper to felted wool and now, in innovating on the appearance of bronze with new form and materials for a contemporary audience. These evolutions are a natural process because the essence of the shapeshifters is fluidity."

New Mythologies also includes new watercolor paintings offered in a range of sizes, including one large, wall-length artwork, that recall the appearance of Japanese scrolls. In yōkai tradition, the spirits saunter through the physical realm in a rhythmic night parade. The transparency of the watercolor medium underscores the fluidity of the spirits, who are depicted in the midst of their parade. Additionally, the artistic process of creating watercolor highlights the concept of chance and metamorphosis inherently embedded in the medium.

Miki has also unveiled a permanent public commission of her yōkai spirits to inaugurate Uber Technologies’ new campus in Mission Bay (1455 Third Street and 1515 Third Street, San Francisco). The art installation, entitled Holographic Entities Reminding of the Universe, resides between two of the four buildings on the Pierpoint Lane pedestrian walkway.

Concurrent to the exhibition, CULT will release short documentary film showcasing the evolving forms of Miki’s Shapeshifters. The documentary video is produced with Altr Studio in San Francisco.

Masako Miki was born in Osaka, Japan and has resided in the Bay Area for over twenty years. She has exhibited throughout the Bay Area at venues including Headlands Center for the Arts, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Kala Art Institute, and The Lab. In 2019, she collaborated with LEGO for its Rebuild the World program and reimagined her Yokai Shapeshifter sculptures morphing and melding with the city of Oakland, CA. Miki recently installed six sculptures as part of a public art installation called Boundaries Ahead in Shenzhen, China’s Coastal Cultural Park. She was a resident artist at The Wassaic Project (Wassaic, NY), Vermont Studio Center (Johnson, VT), Project 387 (Gualala, CA), Kamiyama Artists in Residency (Tokushima, Japan), Facebook Artist in Residence (Menlo Park, CA) and the de Young Museum with an accompanying solo exhibition in 2016. She received the 2018 Inga Maren Otto Fellowship from the Watermill Center in New York and 2017 Artist Fellow Award from Kala Art Institute in Berkeley. Her works are in the collections of the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Facebook, The Byrd Hoffman Watermill Foundation, New York and private collections. Miki received her MFA from San Jose State University and has been on the adjunct faculty at University of California Berkeley, Davis, and Mills College.

Masako Miki, Hyakki Yagyo, Night Parade of One Hundred Demons - Beginning of Another Life, 2021 Ink and Watercolor on Paper 48 x 76 inches
Masako Miki, The Cat that Lived a Million Times (after Yoko Sano's book), 2021 Ink and Watercolor on Paper 46 x 32.5 inches
Masako Miki, Offerings - A Field of Fuschia, 2021 Ink and Watercolor on Paper 48 x 48 inches
Masako Miki, Offerings - Pink Reflection, 2021 Ink and Watercolor on Paper 32 x 24 inches
Masako Miki, Offerings - Green Reflection, 2021 Ink and Watercolor on Paper 24 x 32 inches
Masako Miki, Contemplating Chestnut Shapeshifter, 2021, Cast bronze with automobile paint and urethane. 13.5 (H) x 14 (D) inches. Edition of 4 plus 2 artist's proofs
Masako Miki, Contemplating Chestnut Shapeshifter, 2021, Cast bronze with automobile paint and urethane. 13.5 (H) x 14 (D) inches. Edition of 4 plus 2 artist's proofs
Masako Miki, Mint Nopperabō (Faceless ghost), 2021 Cast bronze with automobile paint and urethane 17.5 (H) x 7.5 (D) inches Edition of 4 plus 2 artist's proofs
Masako Miki, Mint Nopperabō (Faceless ghost), 2021 Cast bronze with automobile paint and urethane 17.5 (H) x 7.5 (D) inches Edition of 4 plus 2 artist's proofs
Masako Miki, Cream Nopperabō (Faceless ghost), 2021 Cast bronze with automobile paint and urethane. 17.5 (H) x 7.5 (D) inches Edition of 4 plus 2 artist's proofs
Masako Miki, Cream Nopperabō (Faceless ghost), 2021 Cast bronze with automobile paint and urethane. 17.5 (H) x 7.5 (D) inches Edition of 4 plus 2 artist's proofs
Masako Miki, Connecting Shapeshifter, 2021 Cast bronze with automobile paint and urethane 27.5 (H) x 17 (W) x 4 ¾ (D) inches Edition of 4
Masako Miki, Connecting Shapeshifter, 2021 Cast bronze with automobile paint and urethane 27.5 (H) x 17 (W) x 4 ¾ (D) inches Edition of 4
Masako Miki, Nyoijizai (Animated back-scratcher), 2021 Painted Bronze 8.5 x 6 x 6 inches Edition of 4
Masako Miki, Raspberry Noppera bō (Faceless ghost), 2021 Cast bronze with automobile paint and urethane 5 (H) x 2 1/4 (D) inches Edition of 4 plus 2 artist's proofs
Masako Miki, Animated Crescent Moon, 2021 Cast bronze with automobile paint and urethane. 12 (H) x 11 ¼ (W) x 4 ¼ (D) inches Edition of 4 plus 2 artist's proofs
Masako Miki, Animated Crescent Moon, 2021 Cast bronze with automobile paint and urethane. 12 (H) x 11 ¼ (W) x 4 ¼ (D) inches Edition of 4 plus 2 artist's proofs
Masako Miki, Ichiren-Bozu (Animated prayer beads), 2021 Painted Bronze 11 x 3 x 3 inches Edition of 4 + 2 AP
Masako Miki, Kuchisake – Onnna (Mouth tear woman), 2021 Painted Bronze 5 ¼ x 7 x 2.5 inches Edition of 4 + 2 AP
Masako Miki, Animated Hinoki Tree, 2021 Wool on EPS foam, walnut wood 73 (H) x 23 (D) inches
Masako Miki, Animated Pine Tree, 2021 Wool on EPS foam, cherry wood 36 1/2 (H) x 25 (L) x 16 (D) inches
Masako Miki, Animated Pine Tree, 2021 Wool on EPS foam, cherry wood 36 1/2 (H) x 25 (L) x 16 (D) inches
Masako Miki, Dango Mushi Ghost (Roly-Poly Insect Shapeshifter), 2021 Wool on EPS foam, walnut wood 35 (H) x 20 (L) x 16 (D) inches
Masako Miki, Dango Mushi Ghost (Roly-Poly Insect Shapeshifter), 2021 Wool on EPS foam, walnut wood 35 (H) x 20 (L) x 16 (D) inches
Masako Miki, Kagamimochi Yokai - Animated Flat Rice Cakes, 2021 Ink and Watercolor on Paper 14 x 14 inches
Masako Miki, Animated Pine Tree, 2021 Ink and Watercolor on Paper 16 x 12 inches
Masako Miki, Shimenawa Yokai - Animated Enclosing Ropes, 2021 Ink and Watercolor on Paper 11 x 14 inches
Masako Miki, The Pink Cat that Lived a Million Lives (after Yoko Sano's book), 2021 Ink and Watercolor on Paper 16 x 12 inches
Masako Miki, Offerings - Soft Reflection, 2021 Ink and Watercolor on Paper 11 x 14 inches
Masako Miki, Hyakki Yagyo, Night Parade of One Hundred Demons - Leaving and Arriving, 2021 Ink and Watercolor on Paper 14 x 18 inches

Upcoming

Chris Fallon: Irrisistible Deception
October 14 - December 11, 2021

Current

Masako Miki: New Mythologies
June 16 - September 25, 2021

Past

Tales of Metamorphosis: Rebekah Goldstein, James Perkins, and Amy Nathan
June 3 - 30, 2021

Janus II - CULT's 7 Year Anniversary Exhibition
April 9 - May 20, 2021

Troy Chew: Yadadamean
October 17 - December 12, 2020

We’re all in this together
August 14 - October 10, 2020

Beyond Words
June 26 - August 29, 2020

Ritual of Succession
January 10 - March 28, 2020

Record of Succession at fused space
January 13 - March 27, 2020

AMY NATHAN: Glyph Slipper
September 13 - December 7, 2019

FEMALE TROUBLE 2
June 28 - August 3, 2019

RUXUE ZHANG
April 20 - June 15, 2019

MASAKO MIKI: Shapeshifters
January 12 - March 23, 2019

JASKO BEGOVIC (SKO HABIBI): HUMAN_E.T.
November 30 - December 14, 2019

REBEKAH GOLDSTEIN: See You On The Flipside
September 8 - November 25, 2018

FEMALE TROUBLE
June 9 - July 28, 2018

TERRI LOEWENTHAL: Psychscapes
March 2 - May 19, 2018

VECINOS
October 27, 2017 - January 20, 2018

RHONDA HOLBERTON: Still Life
January 10 – March 4, 2017

REBEKAH GOLDSTEIN: Release Me
October 21 - December 10, 2016

NO SHOW MUSEUM: Yves Klein, Maria Eichhorn, Daniel Knorr, Etc.
One Night Only: Monday, October 17, 2016

DESIRÉE HOLMAN: Selected Works
September 17 - October 8, 2016

SHE MOONAGE DAYDREAM:
Facundo Argañaraz, Leah Guadagnoli, Desirée Holman, Kara Joslyn, Max Maslansky, Liz Robb, Tamra Seal, Emily Weiner, & Cate White

July 16 - August 20, 2016

PABLO DÁVILA: Ladies & Gentlemen,
We Are Floating In Space

May 13 - July 9, 2016

MASAKO MIKI: Conversations with Fox, Feather, and Ghost
March 4 - April 30, 2016

SUZY POLING: Total Internal Reflection
January 15 - February 27, 2016

DAN GLUIBIZZI: You Don’t Have to be Alone Tonight
November 6 – December 19, 2015

FRANCESCO IGORY DEIANA: Haptic Render
September 11- October 31, 2015

SEXXXITECTURE: Daniel Gerwin, Rebekah Goldstein, Roman Liška, Max Maslansky, May Wilson & Jake Ziemann
July 1 - August 1, 2015

ADAM SORENSEN: In Situ
May 1 - June 27, 2015

KLARA KÄLLSTRÖM & THOBIAS FÄLDT: Village / High Hills
February 27 - April 25, 2015

PRINCE RAMA: How To Live Forever
January 25 – February 21, 2015

JOSEPH DUMBACHER & JOHN DUMBACHER: Divert (Out of Line)
November 7, 2014 – January 16, 2015

REBEKAH GOLDSTEIN: Passenger
September 12 – November 1, 2014

A PATTERN LANGUAGE: Michelle Grabner, Angie Wilson & Lena Wolff
June 20 - July 19, 2014

MICHELLE BLADE: Gathering Into Being
April 25th – June 7th, 2014

MIGUEL ARZABE: /*Reject Algorithms*/
March 7 – April 19, 2014

JACQUELINE KIYOMI GORDON: Drawings
March 7 – April 19, 2014

FRITZ CHESNUT: Purr Valley
& Rhonda Holberton

January 10 - February 22, 2014

UNSEEN: Miya Ando, Miguel Arzabe, Chris Duncan, Klea Mckenna & Dean Smith
November 10 - December 21, 2013

Past Off-Site Exhibitions

RHONDA HOLBERTON: Still Life 2
April 7 - May 26, 2018

LAS COSAS QUE PINTAN / PAINTING IN AN EXPANSIVE FIELD
Works by Miguel Arzabe & Juan Sorrentino

April 9 – May 17, 2015

EBB: Gina Borg and Chris Russell at Loczi Design
December 10, 2014