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Huhtamaki Wab: ‘Why do you follow my son around?’ ‘Because I like mites’ - Edible and Non-Edible Persons of Waba and Pompakleen

Solo Exhi­bi­tion of new paint­ings, sculp­ture and video

17/05/21 – 27/06/21
Opening Times
Sunday, 11:00 – 17:00
Mon–Sat, 10:00 – 17:30
Wab’s practice operates within an animistic world, whereby objects, places, and creatures all possess a distinct spiritual essence and humans are not automatically regarded as the most important element of existence. He creates landscapes that are populated by interconnected spirits and humans to create ecstatic realities, which are heavily informed by the animistic culture from his Japanese birthplace. Themes of consumption and redemption proliferate through works that show influences drawn equally from traditional depictions of yokai (a class of monsters and spirits in Japanese folklore) and from their contemporary representations in cultures such as manga.

A new sculptural and performative installation presents a series of gongs, which will be played by the artist at various stages throughout the exhibition (check website for updates). These sit amongst new paintings, video and fabric banner works.

The show’s title relates to one of several personal experiences Wab has had with spirits, occurring in the period since he started a process of recovery from addiction in 2019, and taking place where the boundaries between the dream world and waking world are indistinguishable. In one such encounter, his mother met a young boy spirit who was following her son around. She asked him why he followed him, and the spirit answered, "Because I like mites". Wab sees this as a direct reference to behaviours of addiction, mites inhabiting places where it is dirty, and where to be ''clean'', by extension, is a way of being where this spirit will not follow him.
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Installation Painting