One of London's greatest features is its seemingly endless supply of outstanding art exhibitions, displayed at numerous museums and galleries, and even on the streets of this great hub for European culture.
I recently visited the Mariko Mori exhibit at the Royal Academy of Arts, in its annex building on Burlington Gardens. Going in without any expectations, I came out of the museum thoroughly impressed.
Mori is a middle-aged Japanese artist who uses drawings, video, photography, light and sculpture to explore the links and differences between Eastern and Western cultures, and also focuses on the themes of life and death, nature, ecology and science. Mori was born in Tokyo, attended the Chelsea College of Art and Design in London, and currently resides in New York City.
The title of this exhibition is "Rebirth," and as its name suggests, it seems to symbolize a giant life cycle, beginning with the death of a star and concluding with its birth. The pieces shown are truly unique, in that many of them are displayed in their own "habitats," set off in separate rooms designed by the artist herself to suit the work they house; for instance, one installation is displayed in a completely dark, circular room so that viewers can appreciate the flashes of light emanating from the large piece.
All of the rooms throughout the exhibition are white, providing a neat and non-chaotic backdrop for Mori's work. The entire experience is somewhat meditative and calming. Mori expertly utilizes colour and light to give the viewer a warm feeling.
Rebirth" is difficult to describe; it needs to be seen and absorbed to truly be understood. I highly recommend Mori's exhibition to anyone with an interest in contemporary art, or examinations of life and death, science and nature, and the world in which we live.