Exhibit - Sculpture | January 9 – April 28, 2019 every Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday | Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
Masako Miki was born in Japan but has made the Bay Area, and Berkeley in particular, her home for more than twenty years. In her work she remains close to her ancestral traditions, especially those that arise from her association with Buddhist and Shinto beliefs and practices, as well as traditional Japanese folklore. Her current work, she says, is inspired by the idea of animism from the Shinto belief of yaoyorozu no kami [eight million gods] who are both good and evil with a wide range of personalities. In defining this world of shifting boundaries, Miki creates larger-than-life-size, felt-covered forms drawn from the Japanese folk belief in yokai (shape-shifters) who can disguise themselves in any number of different forms. Miki creates the semi-abstract, sculptural forms utilizing brilliant colors and sets them into a magical environment suggesting another reality. The installation moves from the three-dimensional forms to abstract images on the floor and walls, conveying a sense of expanding boundaries.
Walking around and among the large forms in the gallery, visitors feel the sense of changing perception between the forms and images as they morph and shift between two and three dimensions. The installation reflects Mikis interest in and connection to Shinto traditions of the interrelatedness of all beings, animate and inanimate, in the universe.