Yurika Sunada


Yurika Sunada, perception, 2019, steel and motors, 200×120×20cm. Courtesy the artist. Photography: Michiko Ishikawa.

Interested in mechanisms of perception, Yurika Sunada creates installations that incorporate movement, light, and sound. Having studied space design with scenographer Nobutaka Kotake before switching her focus to sculpture, Sunada is attuned to the ways in which these elements can be manipulated to give form to abstract thoughts, feelings and processes. Her most recent project, for example, looked at how memory is stored in the brain through a series of geometrically shaped steel sculptures that each represented different stages of this procedure.

In her solo exhibition ambivalent at Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Sunada continues her interest in visualizing how the brain functions—something scientists still know very little about—by attempting to portray the feeling that gives the show its title. Described as the state of having contradictory thoughts or ideas about something or someone, ambivalence has been a reoccurring sensation for the artist during her stay in Germany, particularly during the Covid-19 lockdown. Comprising a spot-lit sphere made from curved lengths of shiny steel, the sculpture’s slow movement and its resulting shadows, which move at different speeds, can be seen as reflective of Sunada’s differing experience of time throughout her stay in Berlin.  “Perception of time is not consistent or universal”, the artist says. “Time is very elastic. I experienced the duality of time while I stayed inside my studio here day in and day out during the pandemic. I started to notice the remarkable difference in the speed of time between the interior and exterior of my studio, although, in reality, the physical time was very much the same. I was experiencing both a slow and a fast speed of time simultaneously.”

Geometric forms have fascinated the artist since childhood. “My installations are rooted in personal experience, while simultaneously sublimating their forms into universal geometric shapes,” the artist says. “The inclusion of two different ambivalent elements is a hallmark of my work. Perfection and acceptance, time and silence, space and emptiness.”

21.08. – 13.09.2020
Tue - Sun: 2 - 7pm
Admission free