Josée Bienvenu Gallery is pleased to present Forest Inc., an exhibition by Yuken Teruya. Born in Okinawa, Japan in 1973, Yuken Teruya received his MFA from the school of Visual Arts, New York in 2001. His work is currently included in Greater New York 2005 at P.S.1 Contemporary art Center and will be shown this fall at the Yokohama International Triennial. Recent exhibitions include the Kunstwerein Wiesbaden in Germany; The Fuchu Biennale at the Fuchu Art Museum in Tokyo as well as various gallery exhibitions in the US, Europe and Japan.
Forest Inc. is a sculptural installation made of paper bags from fast food chains, commercial shopping bags and discarded toilet paper rolls. In this exhibition, Yuken Teruya continues his exploration of our global throwaway culture. His sculptures trace the link from nature to consumerism by returning discarded trees back to the forest. In each paper bag the shape of a tree is created without adding or removing anything, just by cutting out and folding the paper from the bag itself. Each intricate tree is based on the image of an existing one.
In this new project, Yuken Teruya questions the notion of the “Forest of global corporations” that has become our new natural environment. The sculptures are organized in groups that reveal meaningful relationships, articulating and deconstructing the semiotics of global brands.
The works map specific “family trees” of global corporations. Yuken Teruya is interested in corporations who start planting, invading and spreading by developing more and more branches, as in those by the ones who flourish as an ever-growing entity. For instance, LVMH is a group of gift bags selected from the many brands that the company comprises. They leisurely spread on an entire wall both flattering and questioning our fascination with shopping and luxury. Happy Meal Crossing and Golden Arch Parkway brings together McDonalds bags of assorted formats from various countries. Harboring its hidden forest of uniquely carved trees, the installation turns the infamous symbol of excess into an elegy. Gap Inc. underlines the marketing strategy of classifying customers in different strata. Three Seasons (Phillips, Sotheby’s, Christie’s) incorporates art itself in the economic food chain as a marketable commodity. Another wall installation titled Forest Inc. is composed of an intricate network of cut out discarded toilet paper rolls.