About this artwork
Koji Enokura was one of the leading practitioners of Mono-ha, the Japanese art movement that began in Tokyo in 1968 and continued into the early 1970s. Roughly translated, Mono-ha means “school of things” and references the materials, both natural and man-made, used by the artists affiliated with the movement. These “things” included dirt, glass, grease, oil, paper, plastic, rope, stone, and steel. Defining Mono-ha by materials alone denies a crucial aspect of the movement: the arrangement and placement of objects in space, and the object’s relationship to the viewer as well. As Enokura stated, “making the viewer become aware of his position in relation to the work is also something which the Mono-ha artists aimed for.”
Connections can certainly be made between Mono-ha and its western counterparts of Conceptualism, Minimalism, Process Art and Earthworks. Mono-ha artists influenced by Eastern philosophies, aimed for more subtle effect than many of their Western counterparts. Indeed, much of their work relied on temporal—often ephemeral—propositions. Unlike many of the artworks of the west, they were not intended to last a lifetime. As such, photographic documentation became extremely important to Mono-ha artists. For Enokura it was crucial. He had no desire to recreate his original installations, and as time went on, the photographic document invariably (by default) became the work of art.
Enokura created The Infinite Zone, 1970 (January) as in installation at Tokyo’s Muramatsu Gallery. Using a combination of oil, grease, glass, and Plexiglas he created two forms, one in the corner of the gallery and another emanating from a wall. The corner piece is reminiscent of a landscape or seashore, while the other is evocative of an oozing industrial accident. The framing of these two photographs is deliberate; attention is focused on materiality and spatial constructs.
- Currently Off View
- Photography and Media
- Koji Enokura
- The Infinite Zone
- Gelatin silver print
- 28.4 × 41.7 cm (11 3/16 × 16 7/16 in.), image size; 33.4 × 41.7 cm (13 3/16 × 16 7/16 in.), paper size
- Claire and Gordon Prussian Fund for Contemporary Art; Contemporary Art Discretionary Fund
- © Koji Enokura.