press release

opening September 7th, 17.30

JUKAI is an architectural environment by Japanese artist Yumi Kori, conceived specifically for the Bell Gallery. Accompanied by a sound installation by Austrian composer and sound artist Bernhard Gal, this site-specific piece tests the limits of sensory experience, spatial and temporal.

Consisting of a long, centrally positioned wooden deck or boardwalk, with floating light columns receding into space, and thousands of clear bubble-like forms covering the floor, JUKAI is a dazzling spatial setting in which the continuous play of light and shadow obscures the distinction between real and illusionary, perceptual and imaginary. With the addition of audio and repetitive sounds suggestive of a deep forest—that much like the light penetrates the space, pointing to its infinity—JUKAI is further transformed into a contemplative, temporal environment that reaches beyond sense-perceptions. Inside, visitors are invited to walk or sit on a deck/boardwalk; look at the reflective lights and moving balloons, or simply immerse themselves in the sounds of falling leaves, waterfalls, or blowing wind. Indeed, when loosely translated from Japanese to English, "jukai" means deep forest or sea of trees. Like an actual forest, Kori's JUKAI simultaneously engages the senses of vision, touch, hearing and body movement, arousing awareness of the surrounding space and of the self, hence exploring physical and psychological aspects of space, both natural and architectural.

Yumi Kori

Yumi Kori is a Japanese-born artist and architect based in Tokyo and New York. Although she studied music and was intensely involved in theatre and dance, Kori majored in architecture at the Kyoto Prefecture University in 1983. Shortly after, she began working as an assistant architect in a small architectural firm in Tokyo, then as a free-lance architect. In 1991, Kori established her own firm, Studio MYU Architects in Tokyo, where she has been the principal architect ever since.

Upon her move to the US, Kori enrolled in the Graduate School of Architecture at Columbia University and graduated in 1995. Afterwards, she began teaching the principals of Japanese architecture at Columbia's Barnard College. Additionally, she has lectured at the Parsons School for Design and the School of Art and Architecture, Yale University. Along with her commissioned architectural projects and set designs for theatre and dance companies, Kori has realized numerous art installations. They include: the 2006 Shinkai at the ISE Cultural Foundation, New York; the 2005 Infinitation at the Center for Contemporary Art, Seattle, and Defragmentation/krems at the Minoriten Church Kapitelsaal, Krems-Stein, Austria; the 2003 Panta rhei, Maison Hermes 8f Forum, Tokyo; and the 2002 Machina Temporis at the Franziskaner-Klosterruine, Berlin, among many others.

Kori is also the recipient of prestigious international awards such as the Modern Living Award; the Osaka Cityscape Award; the London ar+d award; and the Tokyo Architectural Award.

Bernhard Gal

The Austrian artist and composer Bernhard Gal has become internationally known as one of the most prolific sound artists of a younger generation.

During the past ten years Gal has created around 50 sound installations and media art projects, combining sound, light, objects spatial concepts and video projections into intense and often site-specific interdisciplinary art workds. He also composes music for acoustic instruments and electro-acoustic music, as well as performing live as a (laptop) musician. He runs the record label Gromoga Records and is director of the Austrian art organization 'sp ce'. Curently, Gal lives as a freelance composer and artist in Vienna and Berlin where he also teaches sound art at the University of Arts.

Yumi Kori:

Bernhard Gal:

architectural installation: Yumi Kori
sound installation: Bernhard Gal