Colorful, Immersive Display of 2,021 Hula Hoops, Symbolizing Humanity’s Interconnectedness in a Time of Healing
LOS ANGELES – June 9, 2021 – JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles, a Japanese cultural destination in the heart of Hollywood, announces its summer exhibition “RECONNECTING: A Vision of Unity by Kengo Kito” on display June 16 - September 6, 2021. Faced with unprecedented challenges this past year, people have been yearning to reconnect with families, friends, and communities. In his first U.S. hula hoops exhibition, Japanese artist Kengo Kito – known for repurposing everyday objects into conceptual art installations – uses hula hoops to create a unified structure, symbolizing the interconnectedness of humanity. From Japan, Kito will remotely direct the creation of a hula hoop installation in the JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles gallery and a second satellite installation at the Westfield Century City, on display from June 16 through July 4.
Lauded as one of Japan’s most innovative contemporary artists, Kito not only reimagines everyday objects but connects these modern materials with ideas rooted in traditional Japanese philosophy, culture, and art. Hula hoops allow Kito to explore the close relationship between the circle, the line, and space. When a hula hoop is formed, sen ga en ni naru (a line becomes a circle), and when a hoop is reopened, en ga sen ni naru (the circle becomes a line). By connecting hoops end-to-end, long lines become new, larger circles that all spatially intersect – a colorful, uplifting metaphor for people’s interconnectedness.
A total of 2,021 hoops will be used for the main gallery exhibition at JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles, celebrating the unity of our shared experiences and reconnecting this year.
“Hula hoops have always been interesting materials for me to work with, as they are universal objects used around the world by both children and adults. They are not only circles but also lines and it’s possible to keep connecting them infinitely,” said Kito.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, the connections between people have been disrupted and weakened. In my work with JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles, I want to create a visual expression of the idea that our world is made up of ‘connections,’” continued Kito. “This installation represents the hope that people will find ways to reconnect with each other once again. Realizing this hula hoop exhibition remotely from Japan has offered me new challenges as an artist and encouraged me to reimagine distance and connection in this new age.”
The JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles Gallery exhibition will consist of two sections. The front sub-gallery features smaller hula hoop installations, background materials and videos introducing Kito’s work and its connection to traditional Japanese art and philosophical concepts. The main gallery will be an immersive experience, allowing visitors to walk through a space transformed by Kito’s colorful, uplifting hula hoop structure. The Westfield Century City installation, located on the dining terrace, will offer a similar experience outdoors for a limited time.
“RECONNECTING is both of the current moment, but also rooted in traditional Japanese culture. In Zen Buddhist philosophy and art, the circle, line, and space have long been used to question and explore reality and our place in it,” said Yuko Kaifu, president, JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles. “As many parts of the world begin to open up again and people search for ways to reengage with the community and reconnect with people, we hope that the exhibition’s playfulness and messages of connection will lift the spirits of all our visitors.”
The exhibition will also include related programs including the June 15 Exhibition Opening Event with Kito and more to be announced soon. Complimentary exhibition tickets for small groups can be reserved through JAPAN HOUSE’s online reservation system. Additionally, walk-ins are invited as space safely allows. The gallery is open daily from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., with the last reservation block at 5:30 p.m.
Media sponsorship is provided by Los Angeles magazine.
ABOUT JAPAN HOUSE
JAPAN HOUSE is an innovative, worldwide project with three hubs, London, Los Angeles and Sao Paulo, conceived by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. It seeks to nurture a deeper understanding and appreciation of Japan in the international community. JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles occupies two floors at Hollywood & Highland. JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles offers a place of new discovery that transcends the physical and conceptual boundaries creating experiences that reflect the best of Japan through its spaces and diverse programs.
Location: 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028