International Japanese artist Tatzu Nishi today launched his latest project in Sydney, the extraordinary new work War and peace and in between.
Tatzu is known for enclosing public monuments within private settings so people can view these sculptures in a new light.
Two large rooms have been meticulously constructed by Tatzu Nishi for the latest Kaldor Public Art Project outside the Art Gallery of New South Wales. The two majestic Gilbert Bayes’ equestrian sculptures, located either side of the gallery entrance, The offerings of war and The offerings of peace, have been transformed into two domestic rooms.
The sculpture looks fresh and renewed, because you see it standing in a room and you see it from a new perspective. I do this work because art is an opportunity to question rationality and get another, new point of view, said Tatzu Nishi.
Tatzu Nishi has been building domestic rooms around well-known public monuments for more than a decade. He incorporates familiar structures into temporary, intimate domains, forcing us to reconsider the public/private divide. Previous works have taken him to Tokyo, Dublin, Berlin, Basel, Seville, Los Angeles, and now Sydney. Tatzu Nishi is known for the functioning five-star hotel he built around a statue of Queen Victoria for the 2002 Liverpool Biennial in the UK, where visitors were invited to ‘spend the night with Queen Victoria’.
War and peace and in between is the latest Kaldor Public Art Project in Australia. This project accompanies a major survey of these ambitious public art commissions, started by John Kaldor 40 years ago when he invited Christo and Jeanne-Claude to wrap 2.5 kilometres of Little Bay’s coastline in fabric. There have now been 19 Kaldor projects, including Gilbert & George’s The Singing Sculpture in 1973, Jeff Koons’ Puppy in 1995, Gregor Schneider’s cells on Bondi Beach in 2007, Bill Viola’s video installations in a Redfern church last year, and this latest Kaldor Public Art Project by Tatzu Nishi.
Tatzu Nishi was born in Japan in 1960. He currently lives and works in Berlin, Germany.