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“From Micro to Macro, Past to the Future, Beyond The Scals of Time, The Journey of Ambe”

Shinya Watanabe

Volcano Lovers Exhibition catalogue. 2009

"Through creative action, some form of truth emerges - and it is this truth that I want to pursue," This is the mantra of Noriko Ambe, an artist whose creative forms span the notions of micro to macro. They encompass past, present, and future, and probe the connection between nature and human existence. Her expressive mode is the layering of paper, as she works on magnificent scales with unparalleled perfection. Ambe's point of view is one supported by technical mastery; the works are at once powerful, yet delicate to behold. Through the use of the material, the artworks ascertain the success of her personal direction and creative position. Rather than controlling nature, these pieces follow en route, thus conjuring up premodern perspectives towards nature found in Classical Japanese art.

In the work "A Piece of Flat Globe Vol. 10." flat layers of single-sheet papers have been stacked. It is a sculpture that views the earth' s surface in cube-like dimensions, in which the layers of paper have been arranged within spatial confines and appear to delineate the earth's strata. Through this piece, Ambe has successfully taken the paper medium to its highest potential, infusing the work with a dynamism that almost gives a kinetic energy to the earth she has created, as if the plate tectonics themselves are coming to life.

In "Lands of Emptiness 2009," the collective and organic qualities of the circle are emphasized. The round image of the circle is enclosed into a time and space delineated by the depths of layers. As the visual perspective progresses into this depth, the circle transforms into an oval with two points within it.

The oval, which traces a parabolic shape, perfectly links the gravity and speed at which planetary revolutions are created; at the same time, it invokes the electron's path, which encircles the atomic nucleus. Micro to macro, the work carries two polar images, and is imbued with nuances of a sizeless yet magnificent scale. At the same time, the piece also delineates the mystery of a lone coyote quietly walking along a snowy path.

In contrast to Bartok, the Hungarian composer who tried to incorporate the non-Western concept of the "Golden Ratio" into Western music through his piece "Mikrokosmos", Arnbe successfully brings to Western Art a Japanese sensibility of temporal and spatial relations in her work, creating a unique "micro-cosmos" in the act of creating micro-universes.

The work, "Flat File Globe Red Tank B (2009 version)," elucidates the relationship between the depth of layers and a progression of time. Conjuring the many years and months in which a limestone cave is created, Ambe continues to create distinctive configurations out of layers of circular forms, which this time appear in a cabinet which allows viewing by the pulling out of drawers.

The cabinet form openly showcases the artist' s tireless quest for an endless, limitless "source of creation." Deeply profound, this journey for the truth is the source of strength in Ambe's work.

(Translated by Teriha Faye H. Yaegashi)

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