ART FOR THOUGHT is pleased to present the solo exhibition “Elements of Nature Between Skyscrapers” of Melissa Finkenbiner from September 6 through 17.
Melissa Finkenbiner is an American artist who captures the nature of Tokyo with a sensibility enhanced through exposure to the lives and cultures of various countries. Her exhibition reconstructs the elements of nature in the city as an organic installation using sustainable materials, offering new and unique insights to us all.
Please come and experience the world of these works.
ARTIST'S INTRODUCTION / STATEMENT
I grew up surrounded by expansive fields in rural America and though I have lived abroad from the U.S. for over 10 years, the cities we called home were minor fractions of Tokyo.
When we moved to Tokyo in 2020, a metropolis full of skyscrapers and intense energy, I immediately cherished the calm of nature also found in the fabric of the city. As an artist, I was inspired to honor this nature in my subjects and prioritize sustainable and recycled materials to have a positive impact on the natural environment.
I love to stroll in a large traditional Japanese garden amidst the towering modern architecture or wander into little neighborhood shrines or parks. Right outside of our own apartment is a quaint garden with toads, koi, summer insects, and the occasional egret. I am fascinated by the connection of these living things to earth, water, fire, wind, and even void. These places and the peaceful energy they evoke are where I recentre among the active city of Tokyo.
The study started with a consideration of koi being of the water yet burying themselves in the earth to survive the winter while toads are born of the water only to migrate to the earth. The egrets feast in the water and then rise into the winds. The hum of the cicada in the wind is an audible reminder of the fiery summer heat and the fireflies glow with a visual fire.
Using everything from sustainably made paper to otherwise discarded glass and tiles is how and why I create. The installation art pieces create more of an experiential environment to share the feelings I have in these little spots of nature. However, the installations can be dismantled into individual smaller art pieces as part of the life cycle. By combining ink with paper and other recycled materials I offer a unique view of the natural elements and hope to generate some thought about how materials impact the earth.