M. K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art
M. K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art
First exhibition in Lithuania presenting the work of contemporary Japanese photographer Kodo Chijiiwa, born in Saga in 1976, through a selection of works produced mostly in Japan, on the shores of the island of Yakushima, protected by UNESCO, world famous for its thousand-year-old cedars and the photographer’s residence since 2003.
« Jūra - Yura »: the title, composed of two homophonous words, establishes a dialogue between the sea « jūra » (pronunciation “yura” in Lithuanian) – evoking the work of M. K. Čiurlionis – and the trembling “yura” in Japanese that of the photographer.

In these difficult times of global crisis, war and global warming, the exhibition invites us to connect, through these photographs, with the strength and breath of Nature.

The silent images of the photographer are thus set in resonance with the paintings of M. K. Čiurlionis (1875–1911) here, in his museum. It should be noted that Kodo Chijiiwa did not know the Lithuanian artist work when he began to produce the photographic series « Yurameki » (« Trembling ») during the 2015 typhoon. He thought at that time to use the technique of double exposure with his Rolleiflex, trying to capture the fury of the ocean surface, the energy of the wind, the permanence of the impermanent. Like a terrestrial sailor, Kodo Chijiiwa literally plunges into the fury of the raging elements and walks at random shaken by the ocean gusts.

Thus, in comparison with the ukyo-e — "pictures of the floating world"; - the Japanese prints that influenced European art at the end of the 19th century, are still in one-way present in Chijiiwa’s series of pictures yurameki — « shaking » world. A worthy heir to this long Japanese tradition, Kodo Chijiiwa continues to explore the sea in his photography, the subtle border between water and air, with tiny variations of chromatic tones. His oceanic triptychs presented at the exhibition offer to view the constantly changing spirit in the elements he explores, the breathing of the sea, the dance of fire or the swaying of trees, thus dialoguing silently with the work of Čiurlionis.

The exhibition emphasizes the presence of the four elements in Chijiiwa's photography: earth, water, air and fire. He celebrates water in all its states: liquid, solid, gaseous; the continuous flow of life runs through his work, like a leitmotif. Figuring the intangible is also a challenge for the artist: air, the domain of wind and light, intermediary between sky and earth, interplanetary vibrations; volcanic vapor and the wind laden with spray, for example, help the photographer to grasp its materiality.

In the series « Gata », Chijiiwa photographs the traces left by the sea when it retreats after its furies, and dried up by the sun. Fantastic seabed with visible cracks on the ground at low tide as warning signs of future constructions for future human societies. Like mosaic tesserae, they recall the technique of Japanese ceramics "raku" and express the common history of earth, fire and water.

Kodo Chijiiwa shows us that nature is a unique pulsation where man and the universe are united, and that everything is linked, united in the multiplicity of life. He invites us to traverse the incessant flow of the metamorphoses of matter, in order to make us feel the depth of silence.

Yolita René-Šegždaitė,

Exhibition organizer: M. K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art
Exhibition curator: Yolita René-Šegždaitė
Exhibition coordinator: Raimonda Norkutė
Graphic design: Gita Balžekaitė

The main information partner is LRT Plus
Exhibition partners: MIMAKI ENGINEERING CO.LTD. GLOBAL, Jet, EU JAPAN Fest, Japan-Lithuania friendship association, KOPA
Friends of the exhibition: Embassy of Japan in Lithuania, Chiune Sugihara memorial museum

The event is open to the public and will be filmed and photographed. By atending the event you agree to be featured in photographs and videos of the event and are informed that these photographs and videos may be made public.
The Exhibition is open: 29 06 2023 – 17 09 2023