I need the sea because it teaches me.
I don’t know if I learn music or awareness,
if it’s a single wave or its vast existence,
or only its harsh voice or its shining
suggestion of fishes and ships.
The fact is that until I fall asleep,
in some magnetic way I move in
the university of the waves.
It’s not simply the shells crunched
as if some shivering planet
were giving signs of its gradual death;
no, I reconstruct the day out of a fragment,
the stalactite from the sliver of salt,
and the great god out of a spoonful.
What it taught me before, I keep.
It’s air ceaseless wind, water and sand.
It seems a small thing for a young person,
to have come here to live with his own fire;
nevertheless, the pulse that rose
and fell in its abyss,
the crackling of the blue cold,
the gradual wearing away of the star,
the soft unfolding of the wave
squandering snow with its foam,
the quiet power out there, sure
as a stone shrine in the depths,
replaced my world in which were growing
stubborn sorrow, gathering oblivion,
and my life changed suddenly:
as I became part of its pure movement.
《 The Sea 》 Pablo Neruda
2021.7.16 - 8.01
KIKA gallery is pleased to present Foster Mickley, an artist from New York. After receiving his MFA in photojournalism and fine arts in the US, Mickley studied photography at Magnum Photos, one of the world-leading international photography collectives and has since continued to work in Asia, Europe and the US.
In this project, "Wish Exchange," Mickley's diverse creative activities in photography and writing will come to fruition in a relational work that emphasizes the relationships between us.
Mickley considers seashells as a "gift" from the earth and will “gift“ them to visitors. Once shelters for living creatures, seashells are a symbol of dreams as well as a metaphor for wishes.
The artist who greets you at the exhibition will share something with you through the gift exchange of a shell. It may be thoughts of the distant sea, or daydreams of time floating through faraway places.
In this exhibition, the participant - yes, you -, will be the artwork. The exhibition "Wish Exchange” is up to each and every visitor to imagine and shape its potential; embodying a process of uncertainty that is itself one of the thrilling aspects that we can experience through contemporary art.
Curation: Isabelle Olivier / Philippe Bergonzo / Jun'ichiro ISHII
Cooperation: Jama Gallery / Tsubomi-do / KIKA gallery
Born in 1985, Foster Mickley studied at Medill School of Journalism in Chicago, fine arts in Columbia University and photography at Magnum Photo in Paris. Past exhibitions include a solo show at NYC Munch Gallery, and group shows in Arles Voies Off, Korea National University of the Arts, NYC Ilon gallery, Berlin Foto Kiez, Tokyo Reminders Project Stronghold and KG+ in Kyoto (2020). A New-Yorker, he has been living and working between his hometown, Berlin and Tokyo for over ten years. Based in Kyoto since 2020, Foster Mickley is a member of Antibodies Collective and a co-founder of Jama Gallery. He will participate in the coming Research Fellow Program of the ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts) Kyoto 2021.
A photographer, a writer and a visual artist, Foster Mickley develops a multidisciplinary practice centered around photography and writing, nourished by a long standing admiration for Japanese photography, an engagement in literature and poetry circles, and a love for music and painting. An active member of art collectives in New-York and Berlin, his creative process infers a keen collaborative approach, a way of looking that does not preempt the given, and a practice holding that shared imagination unsettles norms, that multiplicity undermines authority - so that art can expand the possible. Throughout his years of wanders, within and for the worlds he encounters and engages with, Foster Mickley unfolds an intimate visual language. He tells them through soft and luminous forms that reveal a sense of warmth, wonder and admiration, and sketches a delicate poetics of relation.