Floating Urban Slime/Sublime Exhibition opens at Art Gallery Miyauchi, Hiroshima

THROUGHOUT modern history, countless artists, writers and philosophers have sought to break free from “linear” and “logical” modes of thought in their own ways. There is a certain allure in the idea of accessing creativity by embracing irrationality and the unconscious. For the artist Yutaka Inagawa, the hyperactive digital and media-obsessed age that we are in, forms a crucial part of this mould to liberate ourselves from. Inagawa’s practice aims to cut through what he calls the “jpg-compressed” and “highly polished” environment that society conducts itself in, drawing parallels between individual identity, the creative process, and external influences in the age of the internet.

Kiyohito Mikami Yutaka Inagawa Floating Slime Story
Work by Kiyohito Mikami and Yutaka Inagawa at the Floating Slime show

His most recent project is the collaborative exhibition Floating Urban Slime/Sublime, showcased at Art Gallery Miyauchi, a public art space in Hiroshima. The exhibition’s bubblegum pink branding and its title, Floating Urban Slime/Sublime, references the controversy and outcry over “pink slime,” the product of a process in which ammonium hydroxide is used to convert unwanted beef off-cuts into beef patty fillers in the United States. Inagawa likens this “slime” to the state of contemporary society, in which “digitised fragments of manipulated realities [drift and clog] the cyberspace like bacteria.”


Shoji Katsume (Studio Niji) - Floating Slime story
Work by Shoji Katsume (Studio Niji) at the Floating Slime show

These “digitised fragments” are represented visually through the online countdown to the exhibition opening, created in part by Tatsuo Sugimoto. The website presents a graphic series of collages, one for each day counting down to the show. Comprising layered and juxtaposed photos superimposed with text ranging from mundane utterings to manifesto-like proclamations, this noisy blur seems to mimic the speed and omnipresence of media and the internet today.


Soshi Matsunobe - Floating Slime story
Work by Soshi Matsunobe at the Floating Slime show

Curated by Inagawa, works by various artists, writers and designers are presented in a space that aims to subvert pre-existing group show formats. This is conveyed literally through the artist’s exhibition design, comprising wooden units housing the individual artworks exhibited placed throughout the gallery. The corners of these units have been trimmed and shaped, some gilded with thin silver leaf, elevating and equalising the said materials and the function of the display case. The works themselves are laced with materials and juxtapositions that aim to create a wholly immersive and non-hierarchical environment– everyday rubber bands are placed against high-tech plasma screens; dried clay or rubber shavings next to highly detailed pencil and wash drawings; natural pebbles combined with laser-cut plywood.


Tamaki Ono - Floating Slime story
Work by Tamaki Ono at the Floating Slime show

Focusing on juxtapositions, mistakes, processes, spontaneity and randomness, Inagawa and the artists featured in this exhibition cut through the “slime” and attempt to reach creativity and the “sublime.” As he states, “Failure can bring you [to the] outskirt of intention and consciousness where creative leaps and unexpected twists are celebrated.”


Wong Ping - Floating Slime Story
Work by Wong Ping at the Floating Slime show

by Louise Lui

Floating Urban Slime / Sublime will run until January 8, 2018 at Art Gallery Miyauchi, Hiroshima, Japan (Thursday – Monday)

Participating Practitioners:
Sze Yang BOO (SG)|James BROOKS (UK)|Hua Kuan CHEN SAI (SG)|Yutaka INAGAWA (JP)|Megumi IWAFUCHI (JP)|Shoji KATSUME (STUDIO NIJI) (JP)|Lens (JP)|Rupert LOYDELL (UK) |Soshi MATSUNOBE (JP)|Kiyohito MIKAMI (JP)|Nicola MORRISON (UK)|Hiroko NAKAJIMA (JP)|Tamaki ONO (JP)|Wong PING (HK)|Tatsuo SUGIMOTO (JP)|Shooshie SULAIMAN (MY)|Martin THOMAS (UK)|WE+ (JP)|Ryota YAMADA (JP)|Peter YEOH (UK)

Events and projects in conjunction with the opening of this exhibition include:
An online countdown with Tatsuo Sugimoto (text and poem contributors: Megumi Iwafuchi/ Ryota Yamada/ Martin Thomas, Rupert Loydell, Peter Yeoh / Soshi Matsunobe. Visual contribution from Nicola Morrison and Yutaka Inagawa.

Tumblr: Floating Urban Slime / Sublime
FB: @FloatingUrbanSlimeSublime
Instagram: @floatingurbanslimesublime
Twitter: @FloatingSublime

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