At first, the Loock gallery's vast white space, with high ceilings and clean grey cement floors, appears to be empty. Despite the lush floral image on the exhibition advert for Yoshihiro Suda's solo show, the walls of gallery's main room are bare. And the smaller adjacent room also seems vacant until one spots the few small and delicate fabric flowers sprouting from the corners and centre of the walls. As carefully constructed, but not much more artistically daring or visually experimental than high-end artificial flowers, the Japanese artist's minimalist inclusions in the stark space are touchingly slight and humble. The petals of the few blossoms are slightly dusty, as they often become in in-door décor and like most manufactured bouquets they fall short of replacing the things they strive to replicate.
After examining these meager works and re-entering the main space, viewers are likely to look past the blank walls and notice that there is a small glass covered hole in the floor. The square of space where Suda has cut through the cement is the key to what he is trying to say. It includes two tiny green fabric leaves popping out of the empty area like the sturdy weeds which grow between the cracks in concrete pavement. Just as with the flowers' obvious artifice, Suda's constructed weeds planted in a space carved from the gallery's floor successfully prick at one's desire to see and experience the real exhilaration that only actual nature can provide.
--Ana Finel Honigman
(*All images: Yoshihiro Suda, Camelia, January 10 - February 21, 2009; Loock Gallery, installation view, photo: Jörg von Bruchhausen.)