TACOMA, Wash. – Kukai is a new collaboration between digital media artist Robert Campbell and ceramic sculptor Yuki Nakamura. Their first collaborative project was for the 2006 New Works Laboratory, a program between 911 Media Arts Center and the Henry Art Gallery that pairs a visual artist working in traditional media with a digital media artist experimenting with new technologies to co-create and exhibit new and innovative works of art.
They created Floating Plaster/City Motion, a multimedia installation comprising video, audio, and cast sculptures incorporating three synchronized video projections. The work integrated sculptural formal aesthetics with architectonic video projections of animated imagery culminating in the creation of an evocative and dynamic installation.
Kukai is an extension of and elaboration on some of the revisited experimentations and ideas generated during their six-month residency in 2006, and an installation at SOIL in 2012. The artists have noted: “We live directly across Puget Sound from one another—one on Vashon Island, the other in the Old Town district of Tacoma. Sea and sky are omnipresent in our daily imagery: as we watch the floating forms of ships, tankers, and drifting objects, we think of the sea between the Pacific Northwest and Japan, and the parts and pieces of homes washed away during Japan's recent tsunami which are floating toward these shores.
The forms which we are reactivating are based on traditional Japanese wood joinery: forms that create bonds that hold parts together. We are basing our approach to combining our respective art forms on these general ideas.” The installation is an immersive environment created using digital projection, porcelain, and Mylar. This project is supported in part by the Tacoma Artists Initiative Program.
Yuki Nakamura graduated from Joshibi University of Art and Design, Tokyo, in 1994, and earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from University of Washington in 1997. She has had one-person exhibitions at Peeler Art Center, DePauw University, SOIL Gallery in Seattle, and Archer Gallery of Clark College, Vancouver, Wash. She has received grants from Artist Trust, 4Culture, and Washington State Arts Commission, as well as a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant. She has completed artist-in-residence programs at the Pilchuck Glass School through a PONCHO Scholarship; Centrum in Port Townsend; Pratt Fine Art Center, Seattle; Vermont Studio Center; La Napoule Art Foundation, La Napoule, France; and Novara Arte Cultura, Novara, Italy. Her work is included in the collections of Tacoma Art Museum, Microsoft Corporation, and the Tacoma Trade and Convention Center.
Robert Campbell is an artist and filmmaker whose practice includes video art, digital media, installation, and documentary filmmaking. He has been on the faculty at Cornish College of the Arts since 1991, and has taught courses in video art, documentary, animation, digital imaging, experimental film, video for dance, and video installation. His single-channel video artwork has been showcased at exhibitions and festivals nationally and in Europe and Japan. His installation and digital media work has been featured at the Henry Art Gallery and other regional museums and galleries, as well as Cheekwood Museum of Art, Nashville, and the University of Arizona Museum of Art, among others. His video/dance collaborations have been featured at On the Boards, Bumbershoot, Port Angeles Fine Art Center, and Lincoln Center. He has produced documentaries in the U.S., Italy, Ukraine, Zambia, and South Africa.
On view in the Small Gallery is an exhibition of contemporary drawings co-curated by Associate Professor of Art Elise Richman and Kittredge Gallery Manager Margaret Bullock. A public reception for these exhibitions will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 30, from 5 to 7 p.m., in the gallery. This reception is free and open to the public. A gallery talk by Yuki Nakamura and Robert Campbell will be scheduled during the run of the exhibition.
Kittredge Gallery serves as a teaching tool for the art department and a cultural resource for both the university and the community at large, exhibiting work by noted regional and national artists. Exhibits and talks are free and open to the public.
Jan. 30, 5 to 7 p.m., Kittredge Gallery
Gallery Location: University of Puget Sound, N. 15th St. at N. Lawrence St., Tacoma, WA
Directions and Map: www.pugetsound.edu/directions
Regular Hours: 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Mon.–Fri.; noon–5 p.m., Saturday
Photos are available at www.pugetsound.edu/pressphotos.