American Wilderness
Art Lab Tokyo and Art Lab Akiba

Nov 21-30, 2019
Opening Thursday, Nov. 21, 6-8 pm
Gallery Hours: Thursday-Saturday and Monday-Tuesday, 3-8 pm
photo credit: Chiakara Photography

The concept of “wilderness,” untamed land lacking conspicuous traces of human activity, has existed as an essential fantasy in the American psyche. True wilderness may be physically disappearing every day but that does not stop us from recrafting wilderness from scratch so that we may explore and escape. As part of an artist exchange, five American artists from the Wayfarers collective in Brooklyn, New York create an exhibition of new works at Art Lab Tokyo. These new works, developed in the US, and curated by the artists, explores wilderness graphically and metaphorically.

For the artists wilderness is often experienced on a journey undertaken in cars or on foot, with provisions, with maps and with guides pointing to the unknown. Expectations of grandeur and of a primal privacy are triggered. The government may have preserved these wild areas in advance for us. New encounters with plants and animals are anticipated. These are experienced with loved ones and become new memories and future secrets.

When we think we have finally arrived in wilderness we often trip over the leavings of another explorer. A shock (or disappointment) that we are not alone and are perhaps being watched. Or did the previous explorer perish? Unexpectedly, someone else’s garbage can comfort, a handhold against an abyss as we peer over the cliffs, trudge in the woods, or listen to the stars.

Press Release