The Hara Museum is proud to present the first solo exhibition at a museum by the rising French artist Nicolas Buffe. Born in Paris and currently based in Tokyo, Buffe creates art that is grand and yet lighthearted, whose influences range from Renaissance grotesques and Baroque ornament to American and Japanese sub-cultures such as manga, anime and video games. His fusion of Eastern and Western traditions both classical and modern has been garnering attention not only within art circles, but also in areas as diverse as opera and fashion. This exhibition pays homage to the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili1, a book published in Venice in 1499. During his first encounter with the book, Buffe was struck by the structural similarity between the story of Polifilo and the initiation quests that he experienced in video games such as Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros and Final Fantasy. Like the book, this exhibition comprises an allegorical dream in which the hero (the visitor) must make it through several stages of an adventure during which he encounters magical objects and images, makes discoveries, plays games and even engages in interactive play through the magic of Augmented Reality (AR)2. Buffe plays on the architectural characteristics of the museum to transform all of its spaces into a wonderland.
Notes: 1. Hypnerotomachia Poliphili: Translated into English as Poliphilo’s Strife of Love in a Dream, this book is the story of Poliphilo who pursues his true love Polia through a dreamlike landscape. The title Hypnerotomachia comes from the Greek hýpnos for ′′dream,′′ éros for ′′love,′′ and máchē for ′′battle.′′ 2. AR: Augmented Reality. An enhanced version of reality produced by the overlaying of digital information onto image data from a camera.
* * *
* * * * *
Nicolas Buffe became an overnight sensation as the innovative art director for the opera Orlando Paladino staged at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris in 2012. Born in Paris and now based in Tokyo, Buffe creates an that is grand and yet lighthearted with a style that fuses together Japanese and American sub-cultures with classical European aesthetics. For Buffe, love and aspiration, struggle and victory, life and death are universal themes, whether in classical European art or Japanese role-playing video games. They lie at the heart of the present exhibition and the adventures that face the young hero Polifilo within a museum transformed by Buffe‘s rich imagination and Augmented Reality technology into a labyrinth of murals and installations.
* * *
Title: Nicolas Buffe, The Dream of Polifilo
Dates: April 19 (Saturday) – June 29 (Sunday), 2014
Venue: Hara Museum of Contemporary Art 4-7-25 Kitashinagawa, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 140-0001
Mobile site: http://mobile.haramuseum.or.jp
Twitter: http://twitter.com/haramuseum (in Japanese only / account name: @haramuseum)
Organized by: Hara Museum of Contemporary Art
Supported by: Embassy of France/Institut français du Japon, Institut français Paris, Centre national du cinéma et de l′image animée – DICRéAM, Fondation Nationale des Arts Graphiques et Plastiques
Special sponsorship by: Hermès Japon Co., Ltd.
Sponsored by: Societe Generale, Vranken Pommery Japan
Corporation provided by: YAMAMOTO GENDAI
Hours: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm, Wednesdays until 8:00 pm (last entry 30 minutes before closing)
Closed: Mondays (open on May 5), May 7
Admission: General 1,100 yen; Students 700 yen (high school and university) or 500 yen (elementary and junior high); Free for Hara Museum members, students through high school every Saturday during the school term; 100 yen discount per person for groups of 20 or more
* The admission fee has been revised to reflect the rise in consumption tax effective April 1, 2014.
Directions: 5 minutes by taxi or 15 minutes on foot from JR Shinagawa Station (Takanawa exit); or from the same station take the No.96 bus, get off at the first stop (Gotenyama), and walk 3 minutes