Solvitur Ambulando

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    James Jack and Toshiaki Tomita walking on the Tokyo Gate Bridge as part of their previous event "Walking Across the Pacific" on April 25, 2013.

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    Draw an ocean current on the 'Wall of Ocean Currents.'

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    The artists invite visitors to bring a rock from a familiar place, to be added their 'Story Circle' installation.

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November 07, 2013 - December 07, 2013
Honolulu Museum of Art School

Exhibition Overview

Solvitur Ambulando is a collaborative work by Tokyo-based artists James Jack and Toshiaki Tomita. Done in collaboration with independent curator Marion Cadora, the multimedia exhibition includes water, audio recordings and images collected during walk events held Tokyo and Portland, Oregon, over the past year. In the intermediary city of Honolulu, counterparts from both sides of the Pacific intersect to form a dialogue on the relationship between humans and the land underneath their feet.

Solvitur Ambulando (“solve it by walking”) is composed of stories, questions and dialogues occurring in a time of uncertainty. “It is part of a creative search for new relationships to land given the realities of our situation after the 3.11 disaster in Tohoku,” says Jack. “If the disaster is not limited to Japan, then folklorist Norio Akasaka’s discussion may be true, 3.11 has pulled a reality from a few decades ahead. If so, it may not be possible to fix this, rather we must stretch and extend our minds to grasp it.”

These difficult circumstances have spurred Jack and Tomita to take imaginative walks that explore new visions of reality. The artists will create a mind map for a future walk event in Hawai‘i, based on Solvitur Ambulando’s participatory elements. For the Story Circle, they invite visitors to bring a rock to add to the installation. If you like to draw on walls, add your idea of a ocean current to the Wall of Ocean Currents. The artists, in Tokyo, are exchanging a drawing back and forth for the duration of the show, and will display the final result before the closing. Together with ephemera from past walks these generative elements will compose a metaphorical “walk across the Pacific” in real time at the Honolulu Museum of Art School.

Jack and Tomita have created open structures through the practice of walking and talking. In her introduction to the exhibition, curator Marion Cadora writes, “Is the wider Pacific Ocean a boundless space—inviting anyone to navigate it freely, its definition open to negotiation? Or is it a fragmented entity; isolated by its own terrain, privatized bodies of water, and imagined territories? It is unknown until we make the journey ourselves.”

Artists Jack and Tomita are engaged with conversation as their medium and have received numerous awards and acclaim for their artworks and publications. The two artists have collaborated since 2010 on such projects as Living in Story and Storied Landscape.

About the artists and curator

James Jack explores the social composition of land through layers that compose his artworks. This year his work has been featured at the Setouchi International Triennial in Japan, Institute of Contemporary Arts in Singapore and the Busan Biennale Sea Art Festival in Korea. He is currently pursuing research and teaching in the painting department at Tokyo University of the Arts.

Toshiaki Tomita creates artworks that are a story about the process of becoming intimate with images. His work has been exhibited at the Seoul Arts Center in Korea, Yokohama Triennial in Japan and the Odense City Museum in Denmark. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Art at Hokkaido University of Education.

Marion Cadora has worked at the De Young Museum and the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco as well as the John Charlot Collection and the Intersections Visiting Artist Program at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. She is currently Assistant Curator at the John Young Museum of Art in Honolulu.