SEPTEMBER 7, 2019 – DECEMBER 21, 2019

Installation view, Yuken Teruya, Dorothée Nilsson Gallery

For the exhibition “My Plan B is maybe my Plan A”, Yuken Teruya uses a mixture of various everyday materials to address such themes of contemporary society as consumer culture, globalism, and the environment. The title of the exhibition refers to a quote by President Donald Trump from an interview with Fox Business Network in which he commented on trade negotiations with China (June 26, 2019).

The title already reveals a lot, since Yuken’s works often contain a hidden political message. The subject of his work comes from everyday life, yet the chosen materials point to something very specific: monopoly bills, money trees, and even his shopping bags refer to to banks, capitalism and centers of political power. With his sprouts, he introduces something entirely natural into these hardened systems and criticizes them in a subtle yet effective manner. In so doing Yuken questions the power structures of our society, citing an interest in the intersection of nature and value, “in all of its abstract levels.” In his work “Chance ” he cuts Monopoly quotations into found leaves in Central Park. It’s an extension practice of playing with elements of MONOPOLY game, giving the power to a leave to be a potential “Chance” card . “It’s a part of the practice based on observation of every day scenery around us.”

His installation, “MINDING MY OWN BUSINESS,” was inspired by a headline in the New York Times. It portrays newspapers as a sculptural landscape of daily information – photos are cut out and transformed, sprouts grow from the newspaper’s surface and embody life, and a new narrative, one that also contains observations from the past, is formed. The latter reflect Yuken’s very personal and emotional response to such newspaper articles.

Yuken Teruya (1973, Japan) is a Berlin-based artist. His ideas often reflect the life and history of Okinawa, his homeland, as well as simplicity and honesty, mainstays approaches of the Japanese tradition. Teruya received his BFA from Tama Art University, Tokyo, in 1996, and his MFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York, in 2001. He has spent 20 years of his life in the latter city. In addition, his work has been included in the Saatchi Gallery, London (2013), and public collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Guggenheim, New York; the Flag Art Foundation, New York; the Renwick Gallery; the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; the Charles Saatchi Collection, London; the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan and the Humboldt Forum, Berlin, Germany.