Whitehot Magazine

The (Remarkable) Lightness of Being: Yuko Nishikawa as part of a group exhibition at the Onna House, East Hampton, New York.

Yuko Nishikawa with 'Memory Plus', commissioned by The Brooklyn Home Company. 
Photo: James Salomon

By JAMES SALOMON August, 2022.

"The brain appears to possess a special area which we might call poetic memory and which records everything that charms or touches us, that makes our lives beautiful." -- Milan Kundera

I met Yuko by accident, but that's not to say that I didn't want to meet her. I went to see a friend, then suddenly got caught up in one of her dreamy galactic asteroid installations, where she happened to be present. My buddy, sculptor Fitzhugh Karol, is one of the co-founders of The Brooklyn Home Company, which fosters big ideas for artists on their yet-to-be-sold properties. So, I arrived at one of these luxe apartments, and in what would eventually be someone’s living room are hundreds of recycled white paper mobiles that hung down at eye level, dispersed enough so that you can fly through, like the Millennium Falcon. On the other end of the property hung a similar installation, but in color. This had to have been more than a decorative decision.

Memory Store commissioned by The Brooklyn Home Company. Photo by Matthew Williams.

At that point I got to meet Yuko, who explained "Memory Functions" in basic terms. As the white piece, "Memory Store" signifies a new beginning, like a brand new sketchbook waiting to be opened, while the colored piece called "Memory Plus", is a name coming from a calculator (M+) used to add the displayed value to the stored memory. To crystallize: the piece, as a whole, is "an expression of nourishing a new phase in life and making new memories added to what we have already built in the past."

I can dig that.

Yuko is currently presenting another installation, this time ceramic, at the Onna House, Lisa Perry's new project in East Hampton, New York. Those in the art and design world likely know all about it, but in case you haven't been on Instagram or picked up a magazine in the past few months:

- Lisa Perry being, well, Lisa Perry (check!)
- A forgotten architectural gem by Paul Lester Weiner (check!)
- Commissioned in 1962 by Robert and Ethel Scull, once among the most important patrons (and flippers) of pop and minimalist art (check!)

- Georgica section of East Hampton (check!)
- An art, craft, and design program dedicated solely to creations by women (check, check, check!)

Gang all these elements together, and you have one of the hottest venues in the Hamptons right now (and likely for a while).

Onna House, East Hampton, New York.

The Lightness of Being also includes ceramics by rock stars Sabra Moon Elliot, Katherine Glenday, Yoona Hur, and Leslie Kaplan. I haven't seen the show and probably won't get the chance to, but want to tip my hat to these women. They are part of something remarkable.  


Earth and Sun by Sabra Moon Elliot

Unique Work by Katherine Glenday

Moonclouds by Yoona Hur
     Crewel Eddy by Leslie Kaplan

Natsu-Zakura by Yuko Nishikawa

The Lightness of Being will be on exhibit through September 3rd.

For more info, go to www.onnahouse.com 


James Salomon

James Salomon is the Director of Achille Salvagni America in NYC. He occasionally takes photographs and tells stories for Whitehot and various art and lifestyle publications.


Photo: Lori Hawkins


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