|| Harmonica convergence upstairs at Nexus
By Roberta Fallon, Art Blog
Japanese-born artist Keiko Miyamori falls into the category
of tree hugger. Surprisingly, she's also an archivist. The Philadelphia
artist hugged a tree stump, root and all, in a piece at Project
Room a few years back. The project, called "Imagina,"
showed the big stump and huge root system and archived the junk
the artist found trapped in the tree's roots (everything from
a mound of bricks to coke bottles to shards of metal, glass,
wood and plastic).
The entire project was Paul Bunyanesque with a twist of Charles
Wilson Peale's natural history museum thrown in.
Miyamori's new piece in the Nexus Community Gallery (upstairs
behind Highwire) is still about trees (no roots this time) but
it continues the artist's ongoing themes of harmony in the world,
here merged with some musical underpinnings the music
of the spheres in the peaceable kingdom.
The centerpiece of the museum-like installation is a large,
glass prism sitting on a table and casting little rainbows here
and there around the room. On the walls are gilt-framed drawings
labelled "Chestnut Hill, West Philadelphia," etc.
Small shelves hold altered and numbered harmonicas; and two
piano keyboards stick out from two walls. The drawings, beautiful
and abstract, are charcoal rubbings of tree bark in the various
The harmonicas, their tops and bottoms adorned with paper-and-ink
drawings that fit like new skin, are elegant whatizits sitting
on black velvet perches on top of what looks like hand-made
boxes. There's a kind of innocence and modesty here that makes
the whole thing rise above the seemingly corny prism and rainbows.