An Analysis of The Human-Nature Relationship in Contemporary Japanese Art

In the Anthropocene Era there is no space for interaction between human and nature: natural landscape and social landscape are conceived as two separate and distinct entities, and the ecosystem as a raw material to be shaped and exploited under the domination of man. Faced with the self-destructive tendencies of modernity, more and more artists on the contemporary scene are crying out for a return to nature that has its roots in indigenous traditions.

Emblematic in this dialogue is the role of contemporary Japan, which in rethinking the relationship between humans and nature finds itself redefining the ownership of its own national identity after centuries of industrialization and cultural colonialism. The return to nature leads him to recall his animist tradition, which currently takes the form of a post-modern animism: an abolition of the human-nature dualism in the technological present, with spaces for interaction and mutual influence without pre-established boundaries.

Inspired by the approach adopted in the Pera + Flora + Fauna exhibition which resonates the sensibility and power of the primitive voice, I have selected a series of Japanese artists and collectives who aspire to awaken ecological awareness by inviting the viewer to enter into symbiosis with natural phenomena and to interact with snow, water, fog, flowers, and forests. Through the power of art, the viewer is immersed in a reality in which he participates emotionally and bodily.

“There is another kind of art that talks about the power of connection and establishes bonds, the art that calls us to relate.”

Suzi Gablik

The return to nature starts with Tokujin Yoshioka and the shift from a material world to a spiritual world, made of emotions and collective memory. It then follows with Takashi Kuribayashi and the physical reversal of the human perspective placed above nature, revealing the artificiality of such separation. Then we will get to walk and dance inside the poetic artificial atmospheres of Fujiko Nakaya and finally, to the art collective TeamLab, which through its ultrasound spaces of digitalized nature, creates art that truly is without borders.

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This gallery contains 2 photos.

The Practice of Craftsmanship through Perak and Venice. The project aims to link Malaysian and Venetian craftsmanship. After in-depth research about the use and processing of materials in both regions, we decided to work on a traditional object of Perak called Labu Sayong, to which we added new characteristics. Continue reading


Performance and Artists Talk
by Lisbeth Karline Poulsen and Naleraq Eugenius

26th November 2022 | 6:00 PM

Kingorngussaq-arv which means “Heritage” when literally translated into the English language touches down on the current issues happening in Greenland. The event was divided into two parts, a performance followed by a talk from the artists.

The talk discussed the Inuit culture, from the Inuit tattoo, mask dance, beading, and more. These subjects are in close relation to our Inuit culture, now having a strong revival. The artists talked about the multicultural aspect, of being part Greenlandic and part Danish, being a minority.

The performance, on the other hand, was delivered in a way to show that we are and always will be in close relation to the nature that surrounds us. From the performance, the artists intended to express vibes from nature, the hybrid between humans, buildings, and nature by using body movements, lights, and image projections. Nature and everything that comes together with it is the heritage from our ancestors given to us and we are responsible for their future.

Lisbeth Karline Poulsen was born in 1981 in Nanortalik. She attended the Art School in Nuuk, starting in 2004, and later completed her education as a visual artist at Aarhus Art Academy. She has been living in Nuuk since 2011, working as an artist. In 2013, a painting by Poulsen was chosen as the Greenlandic Christmas seal by the Greenlandic Christmas Seal Foundation, and in 2016 she became a member of KIMIK, the Association of Greenlandic Artists.

Naleraq Eugenius was born in Ilulissat, Greenland in 1986. He became the first Greenlandic theatre technician, specialized in lighting, and graduated in 2014 from Aarhus Tech (Technical University of Aarhus). He has designed numerous productions and been part of the important lighting teams.

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Artists Sharing and Fanzine Giveaway by Stefano Cagol

25th November 2022 | 6:00 PM

Stefano Cagol will be present at the exhibition to meet, share knowledge and answer questions from the visitors. In the artwork entitled “Far Before and After Us” exhibited in Pera + Flora + Fauna, he proposes a divinatory vision that crosses the shamanic, transcendent, and symbiotic concept of native populations in relation to what is around.

Contemporary rituals reconstruct and attempt a dialogue between human and nature, myth and future. They move through the landscape, following traces, signs, space and time, using technological tools and natural elements.

Far Before and After Us, Stefano Cagol, 2022

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Stateless Mind: Bodies of Knowledge

18-22 October. Archivi della Misericordia. Cannaregio 3549. Venice, Italy.
Live performances and video screenings.

Stateless Mind: Bodies of Knowledge is a performance and video program bringing together artists based in the Nordic countries, the Netherlands, and the UK who come from and think with places beyond. Their works engages with embodied, cultural, and vernacular knowledge that have been carried over generations of diasporic movements transversing Southeast Asia, East Asia, and Melanesia.

Stateless Mind: Bodies of Knowledge
diasporic embodied and vernacular knowledge

18 — 22  October  2022
Archivi della Misericordia
cannaregio 3549, Venice, Italy

A satellite event of
Pera + Flora + Fauna, 59th Venice Biennale Collateral Even

Organised by Jambatan in Copenhagen, Stateless Mind: Bodies of Knowledge is conceived as a satellite event in response to the Pera+Flora+Fauna exhibition, which is an official collateral event of the 59th La Biennale di Venezia. The programme featuring 14 artists will take place over 5 days from 18 October to 22 October 2022 within the exhibition of Pera + Flora + Fauna at the Archivi della Misericordia and its surroundings.

Artists: Bettina Fung (United Kingdom/Hong Kong), Finn Maätita (Netherlands/Melanesia), Honey Kraiwee (Netherlands/Thailand), Jessie Jing (United Kingdom/Malaysia), Kent Chan (Netherlands/Singapore), Kiss Lavin (Denmark/Indonesia), Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen (Denmark/Phillippines), Noel Ed De Leon (United Kingdon/Phillipines), Pavana Reid (Norway/Thailand), Ribka Maria Pattinama Coleman (Denmark/Indonesia), Shaq Koyok (Malaysia), Stefan Osterjo and Thuy Nguyen (Sweden/Vietnam), Yin Yin Wong (Netherlands), Yong Sun Gullach (Denmark/Korea).

The program is curated by Jo-Lene Ong (Netherlands/Malaysia), Amir Zainorin (Denmark Malaysia), and Annie Jael Kwan (United Kingdom/Singapore).


18 OCTOBER 2022
18:00 Stefan Osterjo and Thuy Nguyeno
18:30 Stefan Osterjo and Thuy Nguyen
            Yellow music in diaspora

19 OCTOBER 2022
15:00 Pavana Reid
16:00 Shaq Koyok
Surat Untuk Hutan (Letter to the Forest)
16:45 Thuy Nguyen
           Echoic Memory (19 mins)

20 OCTOBER 2022
15:30 Kiss Lavin

16:00 Yong Sun Gullach
          Searching with a homeless body
17:00 Honey Kraiwee
Why are you here?
17:30 Kent Chan
Five Stories on Heat

21 OCTOBER 2022
13:00 – 14:00 Noel Ed De Leon
                     Uncertain Respite
                     (at Strada Nova to Archivi della Misericordia)
15:10 – 15:40 Bettina Fung
Land as Anchor
16:00 – 16:15 Jessie Jing
Body Clippings
17:00 -18:00  Yin Yin Wong
                     Lotus Flower
Finn Maätita
My Name Is The One Who 

22 OCTOBER 2022
15:00 – 15:15 Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen
15:30 – 15:50 Ribka Maria Pattinama Coleman
We travelled the distance


Bettina Fung (United Kingdom/Hong Kong)
Finn Maätita (Netherlands/Melanesia)
Honey Kraiwee (Netherlands/Thailand)
Jessie Jing (United Kingdom/Malaysia)
Kent Chan (Netherlands/Singapore)
Kiss Lavin (Denmark/Indonesia)
Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen (Denmark/Phillippines)
Noel Ed De Leon (United Kingdon/Phillipines)
Pavana Reid (Norway/Thailand)
Ribka Maria Pattinama Coleman (Denmark/Indonesia)
Shaq Koyok (Malaysia)
Stefan Osterjo and Thuy Nguyen (Sweden/Vietnam)
Yin Yin Wong (Netherlands)
Yong Sun Gullach (Denmark/Korea)

Indigenousness. Dialogue between Environment, Art and Identity

24 September 2022. 5:00 PM (Italian Time). A talk curated by Chiara Bozzato and Virginia Padovani will be taking place at the Archivi della Misericordia (Fondamenta de l’Abazia, 3548, Venice) on the theme “Indigenousness. Dialogue between environment, art and identity”. The talk is part of the Pera+Flora+Fauna collateral event of the 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia – organized by PORT, the cultural agency of the state of Perak, Malaysia.

The panelists:

Stefano Cagol, an Italian artist invited to the Malaysian pavilion with the work “Far Before and After Us” (2022), explores the relationship of man – and the indigenous – with the environment and the attempt to enter into symbiosis with the latter, continuing his reflections fueled by contact with the indigenous Sami population during his residency in the Arctic. The project emerges from the research “The Time of the Flood (Beyond the myth through climate change)”, Postmediabooks, 2021, where the artist faces the imbalances of our relationship with nature inspired by the archetypal image of the Universal Flood.

Professor Franca Tamisari, professor of Anthropology at the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, has been conducting research among the Yolngu people in Australia since 1990. She is interested in the aesthetic, artistic, and performative dimensions of indigenous people, as well as the concept of care related to relations of kinship. On the subject she published the paper “Yolngu Country as a Multidimensional Tangle of Relationships How ‘Everything is Linked to One Another'” within Lagoonscapes, Venice Journal of Environment Humanities, vol. 2 – Num.1, June 2022.

Pengpeng Wang is a Chinese artist and curator who lives between Florence and Salerno, where he is currently a Ph.D. student in Aesthetics and Art History, jointly with MARA University in Malaysia. He is writing his Ph.D. thesis on the national participation of Malaysia in the Biennial Art of Venice, deepening the political-art link, from the moment when Malaysia participates in 2019 for the first time, after great internal political changes. Pengpeng Wang will virtually intervene with a prerecorded video contribution related to his research.