• Love From Mt. Pom Pom

    Date posted: March 2, 2012 Author: jolanta

    idiosyncratic characters

    “All gallery furniture will be remodeled as Kawai’s idiosyncratic characters: snakes, dogs, people and blocks”


    Misaki Kawai, Airshow, 2007. Installation at Kenny Schacter Contemporary, New York


    Love From Mt. Pom Pom
    By CMA
    Misaki Kawai has created site-specific installations for galleries and museums throughout the world, and she has found that most galleries create a subtle distance between the viewer and the art. What makes her project with Children’s Museum of the Arts unique is that CMA encourages museumgo’ers to interact with art; to touch it, explore it, and in turn also create it.

    This is a perfect setting for Kawai’s approach to art and creativity, which is connected to the Japanese concept of “heta-uma” or “bad technique, good sense.” She believes that art surrounds every individual and that technique is less important for creative expression than an open mind. Children understand this intuitively, which is why Kawai’s primary target audience for her show at the children’s museum is actually adults. Through her art and the printed gallery guide, Kawai will prompt adult visitors to make art and take a creative leap along with their children.

    The centerpiece of Kawai’s exhibition is a gigantic fuzzy dog — 11 feet tall and 18 feet long — that is stuck in a comedic way between two gallery pillars. Enormous combs will enable children and adults to comb the dog’s hair. As visitors explore the rest of the gallery, they will find themselves in an all-encompassing, interactive installation straight from Kawai’s imagination. All gallery furniture will be remodeled as Kawai’s idiosyncratic characters: snakes, dogs, people and blocks — each with an individual personality and a specific function that encourages art making.

    Misaki Kawai, Cactus King, 2008, fabric, paper, acrylic on canvas. Courtesy of the artist.
    For Kawai, the exhibit’s title, “Love from Mt. Pom Pom”, stems from the term “Pom,” a Japanese onomatopoetic word for “little explosion” or “burst,” and the artist envisions this installation as a “pom” of characters and ideas, which she hopes will unleash the creativity of the museum’s audience of all ages.

    “Love from Mt. Pom Pom” will be on display from March 14 to June 10, 2012 at CMA, located at 103 Charlton Street in Manhattan. For more information, visit www.cmany.org.

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