Takayuki Hara – A Shapeshifting World

Posted on January 4, 2013 by unit24

22 February 2013 – 14 March 2013
Private View: 21 February 2013, 7pm – 9pm
Talk with Professor Timon Screech: 23 February 2013
Curated by Marek Wolynski

‘A Shapeshifting World’ Takayuki Hara’s solo exhibition at Unit 24 is a collective display of Hara’s three year project “Shapeshifters”. Inspired by Ovid’s Metamorphosis, Hara started his project in 2009, he created a series of drawings and sculptures based on the idea of our ever-changing and fluid identity.

To view the photos from the private view and the artist talk please scroll down:

This exhibition is a three main themes of Shapshifters Project:

Inside Out/Outside In (Shapeshifting Bodies): is the first series of work that emerged from the project, focusing on inside of us, what we have internally—organs,  Hara focused on the idea of bodies being the borderline of our society, where we are merely aware of what we are outside rather than inside: our equal organs. Inspired by the writings by Japanese philosopher Yutaka Haniwa and Dostoevsky, on idea of ghosts, this is an attempt to seek a new existence not to be restricted by the idea of identity what we believe it should be.

Do Animals Dream of Shapeshifting? (Shapeshifting Animals):with this theme, Hara explored the world where animal instinct dominates. He was fascinated by the idea of Animal/Human relationship, and what differentiates the line between humans and animals. He was interested in Freud’s idea of Ego, Id and Superego for this project, the series of seemingly peaceful drawings provoke the idea of what determines our identity.

We All See What We Cannot See (Shapeshifting Nature): is the final theme of the project. Hara was fascinated by the idea of ever changing nature without us being aware of it. He travels through macro/micro world of nature in his drawings, with a strong reference to myths and fairy tales, in which he believes that the nature defines embraces the differences, rather than treating them unequally.  Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari’s idea of identity plays as a huge influence for this project.

This exhibition is accompanied by an artist talk with Professor Timon Screech from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

‘A Shapeshifting World’ is part of J400 – an international celebration of the 400th anniversary of Japan- UK relations with a series of cultural events planned in Japan and the U.K throughout the year.

To find out more about J400 please visit: www.japan400.com


Takayuki Hara was born in Tokyo,Japan. He has studied Creative Writing/Japanese Literature at Hosei University in Tokyo, and BA(hons) and MA in Fine Art from City and Guilds of London Art School. His works are included in private collections throughout UK, France, Germany, Poland, and USA, also Greta Sarfarty Collection, and Cythia Corbett Collection, etc. Hara lives and works in London, UK.

Photos from the private view thanks to Marek Borysiewicz. To see more please visit: www.born2bcreative.com

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