GA TALK 014 “Sweat turns to salt: slowing down nature in liminal places” by Michael Joo (Artist)

Preparing caribou sculpture with live camera video feed in central Alaska, for the video installation, Circannual Rhythm (pibloktok), 2003-2005 (photo Tom Bigelow), Courtesy of the artist

GLOBAL ART TALK 014 “Sweat turns to salt: slowing down nature in liminal places” by Michael Joo (Artist)

Global Art Talk 014 invites Michael Joo (artist) and have a talk with Mami Kataoka (Professor of KUAD/Deputy Director and Chief Curator of Mori Art Museum).

Where does the rhythm of process slow enough to see the art embedded in it? Where do things that have come apart, re-form in familiar but new ways?What are strategies or methods for artists to address this in local and global transnational/transcultural contexts?These are some of the questions Michael Joo has asked over the course of the past two decades of his research intensive art practice which has taken him from his New York base to such liminal spaces as coal mines in Pennsylvania, the oil fields off the Alaskan coast, and the desert fossil beds of Sharjah in the UAE.Join Joo as he leads a tour across the research sites, microclimates, cultures and processes that are fundamental to his art practice. Along the way, he will introduce some of the people, places, and contexts that have triggered these transformations, and provide insight into the numerous instances and ways in which research pauses to solidify and becomes artwork.

About the Talk

Time/Date:19:00-20:30 2018.12.17.Mon
Venue: Ningenkan room NA102, Kyoto University of Art and Design
Admission:Free (Booking required)
Seating Capacity:100
*English>Japanese consecutive translation available

Organized by: Kyoto University of Art and Design, Graduate School of Art and Design Studies / Higashiyama Artists Placement Service(HAPS)

About the Speaker

Michael Joo was born in Ithaca, NY in 1966 and studied art at Washington University in St. Louis and Yale School of Art. He has been based in New York since 1991. Since then he has had numerous solo and group gallery and institutional exhibitions of his work, including The Menil Collection, Serpentine Gallery, Whitney Museum of American Art, Rodin Gallery (Samsung Foundation), Haus der Kulturen der Welt, MIT’s List Visual Arts Center, and the Freer|Sackler Galleries of the Smithsonian Institution, among others. In his work, Joo asks fundamental questions about identity and the human condition, such as: “of what are we made; how do we relate to our environment; and, are we a part of, or apart from nature?”. Continuing to combine and contrast materials from nature and culture, he has most recently been exploring how nature is framed by geopolitically charged spaces such as the demilitarized zone (DMZ) between the Koreas.


For Booking and Inquiries:(
*Please send 1.Name, 2.Number of participants, 3.Phone number or email address, 4.Occupation (for student, please note the school name./for KUAD student, add the student ID)


Connecting Kyoto and the World through Contemporary Art

The environment surrounding contemporary art has become vastly more complex over the past few decades. Faced with this situation, it is no easy task for artists to find a way to be active at a global level. Naturally, it is virtually impossible to get a firm grasp on the art scenes that are being produced concurrently all over the world. In particular, in neighboring Asian countries that are seeing rapid economic growth and modernization, there are more opportunities than ever before to show one’s work, taking into account the new art museums and art fairs that are being established, and the flourishing numbers of international exhibitions. Although global attention focused on this region has increased, the situation is quite different in Japan, where there is a general sense that the work of developing art-related institutions has been finished. However, it is precisely this state of affairs that has led to a renewed questioning of how global networks are constructed, a reconsideration of how institutionalization works, and the role of artists in society.
In Kyoto, art schools produce a large number of new artists each year. But what kinds of connections might one discover today between this center of traditional Japanese culture and the world of contemporary art that has grown ever more complex in this way? “Global Art Talk,” presented by HAPS and Kyoto University of Art and Design, is a program where internationally active artists, curators, collectors, researchers, and gallerists, among others, are invited, and, through a series of dialogues, strives to provide a global perspective as well as deepen understanding. (Until last year it ran under the title of “ULTRA x HAPS.”)

The “GLOBAL ART TALK” is part of the Resident Curator Program of the Higashiyama Artist Placement Service (HAPS), which seeks to provide support to young emerging artists.

The Kyoto University of Art and Design is dedicated to establishing an institution that will foster artists from Kyoto who aim to work in the contemporary art world at a global level.


Examining Bowhead whale remains at edge of Arctic Ocean, Point Barrow, Alaska (photo: Robin Mongoyak), Courtesy of the artist

Photographing lightning struck trees on Sapelo Island, off of the Georgia coast Of the U.S. for the Entasis series, 2016 (photo Storm Janse Van Rensburg), Courtesy of the artist

Site-specific work Highway as installed in a historic grain storage barn in southern Sweden, 1998 (photo Wånas Foundation), Courtesy of the artist