Rei Naito — émotions de croire — Transphère #3


Architecture, installation, poetry, sculpture

Rei Naito — émotions de croire
Transphère #3

Past: January 25 → March 18, 2017

The emotion of belief is the new installation of Rei Naito, an artist who has built an international reputation with her minimalist and conceptual creations. Rarely seen in France, her poignant work is presented at Maison de la culture du Japon à Paris.


It was in Hiroshima, her hometown, where Rei Naito presented in 2013 the first of her works inscribing a reflection on the atomic bomb. Entitled tama / anima (please breathe life into me), she represented a space for the dead and the living. For the third part of Transphere — a series of exhibitions devoted to contemporary Japanese creation — the artist reactuates this installation by providing an uncluttered work conducive to meditation. Irradiated and melted grass bottles, witnesses of the catastrophe of Hiroshima and its consequences are placed on a pedestal. Small sculptures of human form, called human, are arranged alongside these bottles. These artefacts do not hide their fragility, underlining their existence, and compose a new place of memory. Expressing the inexpressible, the work of Rei Naito invites us to contemplation.

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Rei Naito, Tama / anima (please breathe life into me), vue de l’installation au Hiroshima Prefectual Art Museum, Hiroshima, photo : Naoya Hatakeyama, Courtesy of Gallery Koyanagi, 2013 Installation

Rei Naito is one of those artists who, since the earthquake of 11 March 2011 and the Fukushima nuclear accident, have greatly changed their way of creation. From the very beginning, she has herself constantly observed and reflected on the human condition, as evidenced by une place sur Terre, an installation she presented at the Venice Biennale in 1997: a sort of tent in which only one visitor could penetrate at a time and contemplate, in great tranquillity, the small fragile objects which were placed there. The Hiroshima catastrophe, buried in her for many years, re-emerged after the shock of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 2011, when the problem of irradiation little by little reared its head. Rei Naito has since enriched her reflection by taking into account the future of the world and the human race.

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Rei Naito, Humain, flacon irradié, collection of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, photo : Naoya Hatakeyama, Courtesy of Gallery Koyanagi, 2012

Among the works of Rei Naito that can be admired in Japan, two of her permanent installations are now housed in Naoshima and Teshima, the islands of the Seto Inland Sea. Matrix is exhibited by the Teshima Art Museum, a stunning concrete building pierced with two cells through which rain, sunshine and local wildlife can enter. Once inside the building, visitors experience a poetic and surprising work: fine droplets of water appear, and then run off before disappearing in an unpredictable choreography.

A presentation of this work by Rei Naito extracted from the film A Room of Her Own — Rei Naito and Light, directed by Yuko Nakamura in 2015, will be screened at the entrance to the MCJP exhibition.

Curator: Aomi Okabe, Artistic Director of Exhibitions at the MCJP.

15 Paris 15 Zoom in 15 Paris 15 Zoom out

101 bis, quai Branly

75015 Paris

T. 01 44 37 95 01


Opening hours

Tuesday – Saturday, noon – 8 PM

Admission fee

Free entrance for this event

The artist

  • Rei Naito