Yuken Teruya Golden Arch Parkway McDonald's (brown)
8.3 x 12.7 x 24.2 cm
The detritus of urban life has long provided material solutions for artists; in Yuken Teruyaâ€™s work, the discarded becomes the site of poetic transformation. Shopping bags â€“ in some ways the emblematic item of rampant consumerism, one-use receptacles quickly ditched â€“ are placed within the gallery at a ninety-degree angle, their ends to the wall, becoming peepholes for one viewer at a time. Their dark interiors are speckled with light from holes cut into the bagâ€™s paper surface; the shape of the hole is that of a full-grown tree, so the bag becomes both stage (with its own lighting) and source of imagery.
Yuken Teruya Golden Arch Parkway McDonald's (Japanese)
9 x 15.3 x 26.5 cm
Stooping to encounter each work, the viewer is obliged to reimagine the nature of the receptacle: itâ€™s changed from a passive to an active space. Each tree is painstakingly cut, its leaves and branches described with exceptional care, and each bag derives from a slightly different source (sometimes highend fashion boutiques, others Mc- Donaldâ€™s), which stages the treeâ€™s connection to the natural world in divergent ways. At times, as in Golden Arch Parkway McDonaldâ€™s (Brown), the bagâ€™s mellow ochre tones evoke autumnal shades; at others, such as LVMH Mark Jacobs, the black bag lends the tree a doomy and gothic aspect. Reversing the flow of industry from tree to paper, Teruyaâ€™s work has an environmental sensitivity thatâ€™s hard to miss. Itâ€™s also a poignant assertion of the role of the creative artist: as someone who finds meaning amid the morass of stuff we leave behind.