Artists ‘Digest’ space at PSU De Long Gallery
“Digest,” through Oct, 17, the Ronald K. De Long Gallery, Penn State Lehigh Valley, Center Valley, is the free-form creation of Allentown artists Daisuke Shintani and Atsuko Tajima.
“This is our painting in the air. Our floating forms are created in some way similar to improvising music.” according to Shintani’s and Tajima’s artists’ statement.
“We divided the room diagonally with a lighter side and a darker side,” Shintani said at the Sept. 7 opening reception.
This provided the artists with the opportunity to create contrasting environments using different materials to reflect different emotions. The contrasting snake-like forms made from common materials slither into each other’s spaces, connecting both “worlds.”
Tajima created elongated floating forms on the “light side” of the room with painted cheesecloth stretched over chicken wire. Shintani utilized aluminum duct to make his meandering creation for the “dark side” of the gallery.
“We normally use glass and bronze,” said Tajima, pointing to their physically heavier work on display.
Shintani’s “Untitled” (2017; glass and bronze) wall sculpture of bronze leaves catching “water” formed by clear glass, and Tajima’s “Prologue” (2010; painting on formed glass) of a plant form springing from a seed, are examples of what each artist is known for.
Tajima continued, “When we were given the opportunity to work here, we decided to do something totally different from what we normally do, but bringing all we had learned and experienced as artists in the last couple of decades.”
Although the artists have had separate careers for 30 years, this is their first collaborative, site-specific installation.
When she was approached by the artists to utilize the gallery without restrictions, Penn State Lehigh Valley Gallery Director Ann Lalik said, “For the first time in my life as a gallery curator, I decided to let the artists take over.”
Lalik insisted the artists bring in one example of artwork that each is known for to demonstrate to Penn State students how artists can push themselves to diverge from what they are familiar with.
Shintani credited Tajima with naming the project “Digest.”
Said Tajima,“I often choose a word that has double meanings and I try not to give out too much. So, people can enjoy guessing ‘Why?’”
Both artists strive to have their work “bring out your questions,” added Tajima. Shintani expressed the hope that their work would trigger the viewers to “question themselves.”
Gallery hours: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Thursday, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Saturday. Information: lehighvalley.psu.edu/gallery; 610-285-5261.