The Year Round Window is Mika Nakamura-Mather’s response to the particular space of Gallery 2 at Onespace Gallery, for which she has created a circular installation of bamboo telescopes floating above three traditional tatami mats and several new artworks inspired by the changing seasons.
The Year Round Window refers both to the notion that the natural ebb and flow of the four seasons is a year round window into the daily life and cultural events of her homeland of Japan, and also to the physical shape of the round windows or marumado that are found in Japanese temple architecture and provide a fixed point from which to contemplate the changing seasons outside and to search for inner enlightenment.
Marumado, also known as Enso, have their roots in Buddhism and were first introduced to Japan in the Nanbokucho period in the 14th century. In temples such as Genko An, founded in Kyoto in 1346, the marumado was designed as a place for the monks to sit and meditate on the duality of the sanctity of life and the impermanence of existence, inspired by the view before them.
The four seasons, and the constant cycle of life, death and rebirth that their passing marks, serve as a backdrop to the everyday normalities of our daily routine, silently observing the passing of time as the present slips inevitably into the past.
In addition to the title piece The Year Round Window itself, the changing seasons are a connecting theme that manifest themselves in all the works in the show, as Nakamura-Mather draws on her personal memories of growing up in Japan, to investigate the extent to which history and culture remain key to individual and collective identity.
Mika was born in Fukushima in Japan and has lived and worked in Tokyo, London, Sydney and Brisbane. She is a graduate of the Queensland College of Art where she completed her Doctor of Visual Art degree in 2017. She has exhibited locally, nationally and internationally and has been selected to participate in the Nakanojo Biennale 2019 in Japan.
Image: Mika Nakamura-Mather, Winter Window After Snowfall, 2018, Japanese indigenous timber, transparency photo sheets, natural Japanese pigments, 20.5cm x 20.5cm.