Recalling Stones

Language Used / Song

Japanese contemporary artist Masao Okabe utilizes frottage to awaken the historical memory of material. Having made frottage art for more than half a century, he responds to the belief of Pek Kong (Earth God) belief in the Hakka culture this time. On view in this exhibition is the frottage series made from rocks gathered from the Ujina Station in Hiroshima (atomic bomb ruins). At the same time, the artist conducted a hundred-person co-creation workshop of stone retaining wall frottage at the Liyu (Carp) Earth God Temple, engaging the public in listening to the history and memory of the Hakka culture.

Japanese contemporary artist Masao OKABE (b. 1942) was born in Nemuro, Hokkaido, and graduated from Hokkaido Gakugei University (now Hokkaido University of Education) in 1965. Internationally known for his works made with the approach of frottage, Okabe’s practice engages in issues of historical trauma and memory. In the second half of the 1980s, the artist started making frottage works of remains resulting from the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, which culminated in his presentation on behalf of Japan at the Venice Biennale in 2007. Active in Japanese and international art festivals and exhibitions, Okabe has remained steadfast in his practice, and has been making art and participating in art events in cities around the globe.

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