Nobuhiro Ishihara

I-20 is pleased to present an exhibition by Nobuhiro Ishihara.

Ishihara regards cities as highly layered, intricate places: not unlike the human mind. Underneath the city streets of Tokyo and New York lie labyrinths of pipes, circuit lines, sewage systems and subway tunnels that serve as the circulatory system of the city as well as its memory; locked away and preserved from daylight in the process of its growth.

Ishihara considers what lies beneath through five acrylic paintings on canvas and a wall painting that wraps around the back gallery and measures 43 feet featuring a deer hybrid protagonist, who in one painting drinks from an underwater spring beneath the city.  A deer may appear as an ordinary creature, but in Japanese myth it is more: a deer is the appointed messenger between our reality and a dark convoluted underworld.  This metaphor came to life for the artist when he visited the ancient city of Nara in Japan, visited the Buddhist temple and spotted the glowing eyes of deer in the dark.

He has expressed the symbolic resonance in various forms throughout the exhibition, where the Ishihara deer hybrid is capable of peeling back the asphalt and concrete of the contemporary cityscape to reveal another Tokyo or New York—one that existed in a primordial, memory-filled era completely unknown and invisible to its modern dwellers.

Nobuhiro Ishihara’s solo exhibitions include the Tokyo Wonder Site; Fujisaki Art Gallery, Miyagi; and the Nagamine Project, Tokyo.  In 2007 his works were included in Dark Matter: New Work from Japan, at Okay Mountain in Austin, Texas.  Ishihara studied at Keio University in Tokyo, and at the School of Visual Arts in New York.  He lives and works in Tokyo and Brooklyn.