Yuko Nishikawa | Memory Tourist

Presented by Cynthia Corbett Gallery, Booth C03

Location: Art on Paper Central Lounge

Memory Tourist, by Brooklyn based artist Yuko Nishikawa, is a two-layered installation with contrasting groups of paper-pulp mobiles anchored by a linear passage. Memory Tourist combines part of Yuko's recent installations with new work, whose wire forms create line drawings in the air and connect colorful and airy repurposed paper “Cookies” which move in response to us when we walk by them and stir the air. To make these Cookies, the artist collects used photo-background paper from artists and photographers in her Brooklyn studio building. She breaks it down to pulp, and formulates it with bookbinders' glue into an air-dry clay. The rich colors come directly from the colors of the donated paper; there are no added paints or pigments. Yuko mixes pulps the way she would mix paints to make additional colors and effects, by blending blue pulp and red pulp to make a purple clay, for example. Mushy pulps make homogeneous colors, while crumbly pulps have a stippled effect. Finely blended pulps form a smoother surface like macaroons while coarser pulps become bumpier like oatmeal cookies.

Over the last year Yuko has made mobiles for specific times and places, first for Cape Cod in May, then next for Vermont in November, this Spring for different neighborhoods in her hometown Brooklyn, and then this Summer for San Francisco. Through her traveling for these installations she began to think of the memory of the material - the paper. It retains the colors and the fibers it originally had in these mobiles, whose elements interact with one another as they swing, recreate relationships, and then part ways, like those who visit a place for pleasure.

Yuko Nishikawa creates a fantastical environment with her colorful, textural lively forms. With a hands-on, exploratory approach, she makes paintings, lighting, mobiles and sculptures using a variety of mediums including clay, wire, fabrics, as well as repurposed materials such as recycled paper and used eyewear lenses.

Her work reflects her accumulative experiences in architecture, restoration, interior and furniture design, crafts and engineering. Growing up in a small seaside town just south of Tokyo, Japan, Nishikawa received her B.F.A. in Interior Design from New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology in 2002. Since then, she has surveyed courthouses, hospitals and federal buildings; documented the Guggenheim Museum’s facade for the restoration project in 2008; and assisted in hospitality and residential interior design projects for some of NYC’s leading studios such as Clodagh, Bilhuber Inc. and Alexandra Champalimaud. 

Yuko currently works in her studio in the industrial area in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY, which she built out with friends utilizing demolished materials found in the building. She named this space Forest: a place where things grow and things decay to nourish new lives, and where people wonder and discover something new. Yuko Nishikawa will be making her debut at Art on Paper with the Cynthia Corbett Gallery.