Yuko Mohri: Compose: Japan Pavilion at the 60th La Biennale di Venezia

April 20 - November 24, 2024
Installation Views
Press release

Referencing the legacy of Erik Satie, Marcel Duchamp, John Cage, Nam June Paik, and the Fluxus Movement (all of whom utilized experimental methods of chance, improvisation, and connection with everyday life), Yuko Mohri’s work is characterized by boldly embracing environmental phenomena. She explores latent “changing events” by creating ecosystems which actively utilize familiar, everyday objects.

For Compose in the Japan Pavilion of this year’s Venice Biennale, Mohri presents a critical commentary on environmental issues. Using materials sourced locally, from Venetian antique stores, furniture shops, grocery stores, liquor stores, and farmers and flea markets, Mohri utilized the whole pavilion as her own studio for a few months prior to its public opening. The artist’s latest installations Decomposition and Moré Moré (Leaky) will emerge as rare site-specific, one-time realizations presented for the Venice Biennale.

From floor to ceiling - including experiential elements and acoustic sculptures made of rotting fruit - Mohri will create a series a works that are unified by a common element: water. Drawing on her presentation for the 14th Gwangju Biennale - of which the curator of the Japan Pavilion, Sook-Kyung Lee, was the artistic director - Mohri considers the devastating 2019 Venice floods, rising sea levels, and the theme ’soft and weak like water’ - a reference to the classic Chinese text Dao De Jing by Lao Zi which illustrates a metaphor for change generated through gentle and persistent force.

With a title that etymologically signifies “to place together” (com+pose), the exhibition poses its own questions about what it means for people to be together - at home, in society and at work - in a post-pandemic world in the midst of a climate emergency. Mohri has long been interested in the paradoxical creativity generated by a crisis, having originally been inspired by the systems improvised by Tokyo subway workers to manage water leaks. Through this, Mohri traces the roots and passages that emerge in which compositions and circuits are formed.

Curated by Sook-Kyung Lee, Director of The Whitworth, Manchester, UK
Organized by The Japan Foundation




“Yuko Mohri: Compose”, 2024. Installation, Japan Pavilion at the 60th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia. Photo by kugeyasuhide.