Held at the Onomichi City Museum of Art and three venues on the slope of Onomichi Old Town

An exhibition "NEW LANDSKAP" is being held from September 16 to November 12 at the Onomichi City Museum of Art and three venues on the slope of the old city of Onomichi. This exhibition features Malaysian artist Shooshie Sulaiman's creative activities in Onomichi for the past 10 years.

The word "LANDSKAP" used in the exhibition title means "landscape" in Malay, but the artist's imagination extends to the cultural substratum, and "LANDSKAP" encompasses not only the visual elements, but also the history of the place, as well as the invisible energy latent in the place.

This exhibition will be an excellent opportunity to see the depth and breadth of the project that began with the encounter between the artist and the abandoned house, simultaneously in both the space of the Onomichi City Museum of Art and the renovated abandoned house.

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Siddra house is one of the venues on the slope of Onomichi old town. Shoosie Sulaiman's project in Onomichi began in an abandoned house that used to be a two-story row house of a former grocery store. The east wing of the two row houses was severely damaged and demolished to make way for a garden with Malaysian and Japanese plants. Bookcase containing books on Malaysia and Japan were installed in the garden, transforming it into a forest library. In the west wing, carpenters restored beams and columns, and renovated the roof and walls using traditional construction methods with workshops. A Malaysian-style balcony, made by carpenter from Malaysia, is connected to the front of the building.

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Archive room set up at Onomichi City Museum of Art. In renovating the Siddra house, Shoosie made a rule that not to throw away anything that belonged to the abandoned house. Removed roof tiles, nails and buttons buried in the ground, and other items found in the abandoned house were collected, sorted, and recorded on an archive sheet, as if excavating an archaeological site. This archive room displays such items.

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A series of chairs created by artist Hayato Sugii, who reused wood from abandoned houses, are on display in the observation room of the Onomichi City Museum of Art. The bench in the foreground created by Shoosie and members of the NPO Onomichi Vacant House Restoration Project, who wanted to create a place for people walking on the slopes of Onomichi to rest. Dirt Room in the museum exhibits various types of soil from walls, roofs, and the ground, as well as cups and bricks made with ceramic artists by reusing such soil. At another venue, Komyoji Kaikan, workshops are held to make pigments and paints by breaking roof tiles into small pieces, allowing visitors to see the reuse of waste materials from the Siddra House in various ways.

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Shooshie Sulaiman explains in the Kawara Room of the museum. The Kawara Room features an installation and poetry composed of about 1,000 tiles collected from the old city center of Onomichi. The vast number of tiles were brought in by  the students of Onomichi City University and installed by members of the NPO Onomichi Vacant House Restoration Project. In addition, an installation of pillars collected from demolished buildings stands in a room named Forest Pillar. In addition to archival works, the museum also exhibits experiential works that appreciate with all your senses.

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The surface of a typical wooden apartment building in Onomichi, built against the glass and concrete surface of the front exterior wall of the Onomichi City Museum of Art. This large-scale installation, which reconstructed mainly from materials from the demolished Matsuya apartment building, was realized with the help of carpenters in Onomichi. Shoosie's relationship with supporters, including carpenters, artists, members of the Onomichi Vacant House Restoration Project, and students, was mutually influential. Shoosie expresses her gratitude by explaining that "this exhibition was made possible through their collaboration."

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historical documents and materials related to Jomon culture are displayed with the cooperation of the Murata family and Shinji Umebayashi, curator of the Onomichi City Museum of Art. These materials were collected mainly related to Shiro Murata, the ancestor of the Murata family, the landlord of the former grocer's building that was the predecessor of Siddra house. Shiro Murata was also a cultural and historical researcher in Onomichi. The black box in the center displays Jomon bones excavated by Shiro Murata at the Onomichi site. These Jomon bones stored at Kyoto University after excavation, will be returned to Onomichi for the first time in about 97 years. From the earliest stages of this project, Shoosie has focused on the presence of the Jomon people, who are presumed to share a common "cultural DNA" with Southeast Asia. Shoosie feels spiritually guided by the direct connection between Siddra house, Onomichi, and the Jomon through the presence of Shiro Murata. In retrospect, Shoosie states that this chain of events manifested as " signs" (Petanda in Malay).

"In my thinking, landscapes have been shaped by the various fragments I have seen. This exhibition will held to reread these visual fragments from a new perspective.

The beauty of Onomichi's landscape, especially what I have experienced over the past decade on the slopes of the old city, has influenced my understanding of the "fractal" that lurks in my thoughts and senses, something fragmented and disjointed." - From the text printed at the entrance of the museum.

Shoosie Sulaiman's project is still on going, and this exhibition is both a progress report and an achievement report of her ten years of creative activity in Onomichi.

How the various fragments she finds in Onomichi will chain together in the future holds immense potential.

A catalog detailing Shoosie Sulaiman's creative activities in Onomichi and the history of the project is available in the museum store. I recommend purchasing the catalog if you would like to learn more about the project.

Shooshie Sulaiman Profile

Born in Muar, Malaysia in 1973. Received BFA from Universiti Teknologi Mara in 1996. She has participated in Documenta 12 (2007), Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (2009), Gwangju Biennale (2014), and Singapore Biennale (2011, 2022).

In Japan, she participated in the In Japan, she participated in the ARCUS Project in Ibaraki in 1998, "Emotional Drawing" (The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo / The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, 2008), "Sunshower: Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia from the 1980s to the Present" (The National Art Center / Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, 2017), the same year she is known for her participation in the Yokohama Triennale 2017 "Islands, Constellations and Galapagos" (Yokohama New Art Museum, Kanagawa, Japan), as well as her continuous participation in "AIR Onomichi" since 2013. Major solo exhibitions include "Sulaiman itu Melayu/ Sulaiman was Malay" (Tomio Koyama Gallery Singapore, 2013), "Malay Mawar" (Kadist Art Foundation, Paris, 2016), "Main Getah/Rubberscape" (Museum MACAN Children's Art Space, Jakarta, 2019), "The Lore of the Equator" (Tomio Koyama Gallery, Tokyo, 2021), “fake M.” (Tomio Koyama Gallery, Tokyo, 2023), etc.

"NEW LANDSKAP" Exhibition Info

PeriodSep 16, 2023~Nov 12, 2023
Hours9:00~17:00 (Admission until 16:30; open until 20:00 on October 7 only) The Komyoji Kaikan, Sidra House, and the Writing Studio will be open only on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays during the exhibition period from 11:00 to 17:00. Admission is free.
ClosedMondays (Open on the national holiday of October 9)
VenueOnomichi City Museum of Art
Other VenuesKomyoji Kaikan 2-1 Higashi-Tsuchido-cho, Onomichi-city
Siddra house 13-38 Nishi-Tsuchido-cho, Onomichi-city
Writing studio 10 Nishi-Tsuchido-cho, Onomichi-city
Fee¥800 for adults, ¥550 for students, free for junior high school students and younger
URLhttps://bit.ly/3rDrh2f

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