Of Plants and Ghosts

Of Plants and Ghosts

Nils Ekman & Hiroko Tsuchimoto

16 - 25 sept. 2022

Galleri NOS proudly presents Of Plants and Ghosts, a duo exhibition by Nils Ekman and Hiroko Tsuchimoto which reimagines ontological realities and relationships within the more-than-human realms.

Responding to the effects of Anthropocentrism in modern industrial society, Hiroko Tsuchimoto unfolds the colonial notion of nature. Through filters of non-Western Other and vegetal beings, she reconfigures the historical narratives. She engages with the research subject by applying her critical and creative thoughts on the relationships and gaps between art, science, and epistemology. Bringing the interaction between human and nonhuman agencies to the forefront, the project aims to make our imagination open beyond nation states and representations. Tsuchimoto offers a space for reflection through sound, drawings and textile work in the exhibition. There she shares the process of her research In Between the Parallels which is based on her interpretation of Parallel Botany, a field guide of imaginary plants written by Leo Leonni in 1977, and correspondences with her floral companion, hydrangeas, which have had their features and living transformed through botanical expeditions and human curiosity/desires.

The work presented by Nils Ekman consists of a series of photographic prints of entities that partially resemble fruits or flowers. But on closer inspection, shapes and textures similar to organs, skin and glass are also found. Despite their tangible realism, the objects constitute entirely fictitious representations created in a 3D modeling software. Hovering between the familiar and the strange, between the beautiful and the repulsive, the objects in this imaginary photographic index take their point of departure from the peculiar flora found in Hieronymus Bosch's painting The Garden of Earthly Delights from the late 15th century. The painting depicts a state where the boundaries between humans, minerals and plants are blurred. According to art historians, these hybrid elements symbolize how human sin distorts God's creation. But the painting can also be interpreted as a prophetic vision of a possible future state where our taxonomic hierarchies have dissolved. Similarly, the series of hybrid entities in Ekman's spectral index can be seen as a prophetic vision of whatever transformations our current era will leave behind.

Hiroko Tsuchimoto is a Japanese-born, Stockholm-based artist. She began her career at Musashino Art University in Tokyo (BA: 2008) and went on to study at Konstfack (MFA: 2010), Kungl. Konsthögskolan (2011), and St Lucas School of Arts Antwerp (MA: 2021). Tsuchimoto has been working with her artistic research that unfolds memories of imperial violence through the history of gardens combined with personal anecdotes.Nils Ekman is a visual artist based in Malmö. He received his BFA from Umeå Academy of Fine Arts in 2016 and his MFA from Malmö Art Academy in 2018. Working primarily with sculpture and digital visualization his artistic practice revolves around the intertwinement of technology, body and nature.

The exhibition is supported by Kulturrådet, Region Stockholm and Stockholms Stad.

Image: Iinuma, Y., sōmokuzusetsu vol. 4, 1832, via National Diet Library, Japan. The image has been modified.