Stories that went Over

Mariko Kobayashi

April 17 – June 5, 2021


KOTARO NUGATA is pleased to announce Mariko Kobayashi’s (1987, Osaka) first solo exhibition at our gallery, “Stories that went Over” from April 17 to June 5.
*Kyoji Takubo “Camélia” will be held concurrently.

Kobayashi illustrates ‘Circulation of Life’ by combining different methods and materials such as one of her major approaches to dyeing, as well as stitching, and knitting. In Heat and Water, exhibited in CADAN Yurakucho last November, she dynamically expressed the mountains as the center of the biological cycle, by using vivid colored cloths of a scale 3m height 5m width, and caught many eyes of the audiences. Furthermore, she made works at Starbucks Coffee Japan Head Office in 2013 and made a commission work En(fate) at a guest room in Park Hotel Tokyo, and is now highly applauded for its perfect craft making and unique perspective from multi-directions.

Kobayashi starts her creation from small questions raised in her daily life, and her process is as if she is unfolding the birth of her surrounding world. A death of someone or something close to you, for example. The dead body returns to earth and becomes the seedbed of the next life. Then the pollen and seeds fallen from a tribute flower will grow and pass its baton to the next life. In thinking of this obvious truth, it makes Kobayashi question her own being. We can see Kobayashi’s approach, like awe or a strong wish, towards life from her working process; she puts death not as an end, but as the beginning of a new life story, and carefully weave them together. Within the endless life cycle that started far behind in the past, and continues forever in the future, each of us is just a small passing point. Yet, we create artificial objects sometimes without even noticing. Having questions and being hesitant in leaving them to the next generation is reflected in her conscientious decision-making in selecting natural materials that return to the soil.

Past peeking through the Seams

When we think of the time and story that will start beyond today, we realize those worlds were already spreading below our feet.
We live our life, feeling as if the time from birth to death is linear.
At the end of our linear time, all beings return to earth.
Earth is the warm place nurtured by all the dead.
Every year a corps of leaves layer above one another making its muck, and the soil will turn over by the roots of green, then the birds will drop some seeds with their excrement, and finally, it will begin to sprout.
In that world, things combine gently together, recapitulate, and spread deeply in circles like tree rings, not in a linear form with an end.
By etching the thin skin of the ‘Cycle of Life’ emerging by its immense time, what shall we create in this world?

Mariko Kobayashi

Our exhibition title “Stories that went Over” implies two meanings: the story portraying us today on top of an immense number of ancestors’ lives, and the stories of the future lives after we finish our role and go back to earth.
Kobayashi, known for using the whole exhibition space and understanding features of different spaces, will now bring the thin skin of the ‘Cycle of Life’ into shape, and weave a new story here.

Stories that went Over



April 17 – June 5, 2021 11:00-18:00 (Tue- Sat) *Open hours have been changed. *Closed on Sun, Mon and Public Holidays *Gallery hours and other information are subject to change


Guidelines for visitors

At KOTARO NUKAGA, we will be implementing the following measures to ensure the safety of visitors. Please review our guidelines before your visit. As a precautionary measure to help contain the further spread of COVID-19, we have set the following guidelines. Visitor Safety All visitors are required to wear a mask and sanitize your hands at the entrance. Please refrain from visiting the gallery if you are experiencing the following symptoms: – Cold/Flu-like symptoms – Fever (over 37.1 C/99.1 F) – Fatigue, shortness of breath, etc. Staff Safety At KOTARO NUKAGA we will take the following measures: – Install hand sanitizers in easily accessible locations – Increase the frequency of cleaning and disinfection of high touch points including doorknobs, elevator bottons, etc. – Limit the number of visitors – All the gallery members will wear a mask, regularly sanitize hands, measurement of body temperature Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.