• Claus Mewes: Opening speech delikatelinie Ermkeilkaserne Bonn
    Naho Kawabe was born in 1976 in the southwest Japanese port city, Fukuoka and grew up there. The city of 1.5 million inhabitants is located on the southern main island of Japan directly across the sea from South Korea. This border area has become famous through several historical sea battles, in particular the victory of a small Japanese fleet against the numerically superior Russian naval forces in the so-called Korean Strait near Tsushima in 1905. This event is still regarded by the non-European countries today as the impetus for a new self-confidence with which the countries of Asia and Africa … Continue reading Text Read more
  • Sachiko Shoji: Text from the exhibition catalogue “In Search of Critical Imagination”
    Video can tell any number of lies. And it can also unexpectedly capture the truth. Understanding this exposes the degree of uncertainty in what we see as well as the ambiguous nature of our perceptions and memories. In the work of Kawabe Naho, an artist who got his start in video, we are at times left with the sense that there is no boundary between truth and lies. For example, in Kawabe’s 2004 video work Sugarhouse, the first thing we see is a completely white screen that does not seem to contain anything. But after red water is poured into … Continue reading Text Read more
  • Ludwig Seyfarth: Like Leaves in the Wind. Ruins in the works of Naho Kawabe
    (…) As is generally known, the latest major natural disaster that took place in Japan was a tsunami, which even a nuclear power plant was unable to withstand. In March of 2012, Naho Kawabe photographed many damaged or extensively demolished single-unit houses in the prefecture Miyagi, which had been affected by the tsunami. Contrary to the classical viewer of ruins, without knowing how the buildings had fallen into this state, one would immediately ask for the reason for the destruction. Followed by the question regarding their fate: will these houses be repaired or torn down and replaced by new ones? … Continue reading Text Read more
  • Belinda Grace Gardner: The Play of Light and Shadow. Giving shape to the ephemeral: Naho Kawabe’s visualization of the invisible
    „When rays of sunshine fall obliquely onto the pattern of a lace curtain, the perforations of the fabric are condensed into a graceful shadow image for a moment, its delicate structure gaining visual substance. Stylized blossoms stand out against surfaces, walls, or the floor as dark negative inversions: a brief reflex of light that manifests itself on the margin between presence and absence, substantiation and dissolution. This phenomenon has inspired the Hamburg-based Japanese artist Naho Kawabe to begin an open series of fragile floor pieces that is still in progress. In her reinterpretations of the evanescent play of shadows, she … Continue reading Text Read more