Diversifying sources of inspiration, creating works of art in situ. In 2017, the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès invites Abraham Cruzvillegas, Emmanuel Saulnier and Fujiko and Ukichiro Nakaya to the Forum in Tokyo. Under the direction of curator Reiko Setsuda, the artists are gracing the venue with collections that draw upon a full range of artistic disciplines – sketching, sculpture, painting, music, architecture – as well as pieces by other artists.
Rhythm, spontaneity and silence. The project presented by Emmanuel Saulnier is inspired by the performances of American composer and pianist Thelonious Monk. French visual artist Saulnier has arranged three elements "Tempo I/II/III" in the style of a musical composition. Transparent glass, carved wood, bitumen and dried ink are blended in an exploration of darkness and obscurity. The visitor assumes agency, activating the rhythm inherent in each room through his or her presence. The project is the latest chapter in Emmanuel Saulnier’s long-standing collaboration with the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès, following a solo exhibition at La Verrière in 2002. At the Tokyo exhibition, in addition to his own pieces, the artist is also unveiling works by other artists from his teaching studio at the Beaux-Arts in Paris.
Bamboo, recycled paper and cardboard, glued together using boiled rice. Three site-specific pieces produced by Abraham Cruzvillegas, the continuation of his "Autoconstrucción" concept. With one key difference: a scattering of Ipomoea tricolor – a species of morning glory native to Mexico – that suffuses the installation with nature and serves as the backdrop for a musical performance. Three Mexican musicians play songs written by the artist in a unique, filmed performance that is screened adjacent to the installation throughout the exhibition. "The Water Trilogy 2" is subtitled "Autodefensiòn Obrera Campesina Estudiantil Metabolista Descalza" (‘Self-defence Microtonal Worker Peasant Student Metabolist Barefoot’). Part-exhibition, part-manifesto. A new demonstration of the political engagement of this Mexican artist, who unfailingly transcends local contexts with his international appearances.
In December 2017, fog sculptor Fujiko Nakaya is invited to the Forum to present "Greenland", in homage to her father Ukichiro Nakaya. Outside, the glass facade of the Maison Hermès takes on the glacial air of the Arctic. Inside, the artist installs a fog sculpture at the heart of the exhibition space. “To understand ice, you have to listen to it.” (Ukichiro Nakaya)