WSU Schnitzer Museum presents the exhibition “Chiho Aoshima: City Glow”

A picture from the animation "City Glow"
Chiho Aoshima's animation “City Glow,” is a meditation on humankind’s strained relationship with nature, where forces of good and evil vie for control of the land. 

PULLMAN, Wash. – The Washington State University Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is proud to present the exhibition “Chiho Aoshima: City Glow.” The exhibition is located in the Pavilion Gallery and is on view at the museum from Aug. 20-Dec. 14. It is made possible through a prestigious loan from the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. As always, all exhibitions at the museum are free and open to the public.

“The evolution of human civilization is great; humankind thinks nature is precious, but it is difficult for humankind and nature to coexist. I represented these two souls that cannot understand each other through the images of buildings and mountains.” – Chiho Aoshima

In 2005, Aoshima created her first animation, “City Glow,” in collaboration with the New Zealand-based animator Bruce Ferguson. This five-channel video work is a meditation on humankind’s strained relationship with nature, where forces of good and evil vie for control of the land. Using dreamlike imagery and bright colors of Japanese anime, the seven-minute narrative opens in a beautiful garden filled with exotic foliage and creatures. Gradually, a modern city of anthropomorphic skyscrapers grows from the tranquil and lush wilderness. As night falls, the city becomes a haunted wasteland. Finally, demonic ghosts are banished by winged spirits, and nature flowers once again.

Born in 1974 in Tokyo, Japan, Aoshima studied economics at Hosei University in Tokyo before dedicating herself to making art. Though not formally trained, Aoshima’s drawings and videos show the influence of Japanese popular culture, including traditional scroll painting and Ukiyo-e printing as well as contemporary Manga comics and animated media.

She has also been associated with Superflat, an art movement founded by artist Takashi Murakami, which explores consumerism in post-war Japanese culture. Her 2015 exhibition, “Chiho Aoshima: Rebirth of the World” at the Seattle Art Museum, featured the video work “City Glow.”

Aoshima has had additional solo exhibitions at Blum & Poe, Los Angeles, in 2002; the Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Paris, in 2007; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, in 2007; the Foundation Joan Miró, Barcelona, Spain in 2008; and the Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech in 2014.​​​​​​ Aoshima lives and works in Tokyo, Japan.

Funding has been provided by the Members of the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art WSU.

Museum location

The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art WSU is located in the Crimson Cube (on Wilson Road across from Martin Stadium and the CUB) on the WSU Pullman campus. The hours of our six galleries are Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., closed Sunday and Monday. For more information please contact the museum at 509-335-1910.

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