Yuken Teruya is one of the most prolific Okinawan artists of his generation. His work is known for using humble objects – cardboard, paper bags, newspapers, board games, balloons – in ways that echo Okinawa’s historical narrative.

The sea is a constant presence in the Okinawan landscape and a recurring theme in Yuken Teruya’s work. The exhibition La Mer encapsulates Teruya’s perspective: historic and present references to the Okinawan condition, ecological systems within material cultures, and power relationships between countries. Embedded structural power, institutional hierarchy under the colonial lens, and the monopoly of knowledge become normalized in everyday life. Teruya’s practice recognizes that this process of occupation and assimilation can also be a diversifying influence that suggests a new, open, and heterogeneous notion of Japan: antagonistic, but with potential for cross-pollination of cultures and understandings.

Duration: 6 October 2022 – 25 January 2023

Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation

Installation view of Yuken Teruya, To the Sky #3, 2022, balloons, fragment of bomb, courtesy of the artist