Rei Naito – What Kind of Place was the Earth?

April 28 - June 09, 2012

With „What Kind of Place was the Earth?“ we are pleased to present the second solo show of the Japanese artist Rei Naito at Loock Galerie.

Friedrich Loock has been planning an extensive project with Rei Naito for Berlin for about two decades. On the occasion of Gallery Weekend 2012 we are pleased to present an installation Naito developed specifically for Loock Galerie. Former venues of Rei Naito’s works were the 1997 Venice Biennial (Japanese Pavilion) and the Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt/Main. While Loock Gallery presented some of her works in a smaller exhibition in 2010, site-specific installations by Naito have a particular quality for Friedrich Loock since the artist realizes but one of them per year.

Her new series „human“ has been started in 2011. The new installation piece consists of smaller sculptures called „human“ which appear as a group of standing figures, and „Grace“ which is a sculpture made of thread. In addition to this new paintings will be shown.

Rei Naito started her career in the 1980ies with the question „Is this existence on earth itself a blessing?“. Recently, she is looking for the meaning of „matrix“ which she perceives as a continuity of life on earth and in nature, and through natural anima such as light, water, wind, heat, gravity and color.

According to a memo of the artist, there are three key concepts associated to „What Kind of Place was the Earth?“: „matrix“, „the scene of life on earth“ and „hitogata“ (human figurines).

„Matrix“ - or maternal space - is the continuous space between nature, on which the world is based, and life on earth. Furthermore it is something that is always beside us; everything is born from and nourished by it.

The view of „the scene of life on earth“ from above shows a lot of people waiting. Many are watching the becoming of „the maternal“ and „the offspring“. These gazes may originate from those who were born earlier, those who are already deceased, and those who are yet to be born - and even from spirits.

„Hitogata“ (human figurines, part of the sculpture „human“) displays the meaning of human figurines for mankind. Human figurines have been produced since ancient times and Rei Naito recently began to create them as well. Being involved with the traditional way of making figurines as an archaic act that precedes and transcendents modern art is something very important to Naito as an artist.


Rei Naito, born 1961 in Hiroshima, lives and works in Tokyo. Recent shows include Marianne Boesky Gallery New York; Gallery Koyanagi, Tokyo; The Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura, Kanagawa; Collection Lambert en Avignon, France. Her works are also shown in public collections like Deutsche Bank, Germany; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt/Main; Germany, and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo.